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Delving Into Discourse: Excavating the Inbuilt Power-Logic(s) of Tourism

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According to Deleuze and Guattari (1987), too much of our understanding in and of the world, today, comes from fixed, static, and sedentary points of view, and we need new nomadic thoughtlines to understand how peoples, places and pasts are conceived, constructed, and valued. Drawing from Deleuze and Guattari, Featherstone (1995, p. 126) suggests that many of our existing models of understanding cannot any longer appropriately gauge the rising complexity and fluidity of contemporary life. What is required is an extensive use of metaphors of movement and marginality to replace the received and mainstreamed authority of fixed/static/sedentary worldviews, and in that decentering of habitual understanding, travel and tourism ought substantially be mined or utilized for the new insights they help carry and for the new knowledges they help produce. To Deleuze and Guattari, and to Featherstone, in the increasingly fluid informational field of contemporary life under the so-called late crisis of representation of and about things (after Marcus & Fischer, 1986), tourism and travel have nowadays an enlarging role in not only the generation of understanding about culture and nature, but in the surveillance of populations, and in the disciplining of peoples. In this regard, tourism is the rising medium for the generation of revised understandings about being and identity (Lanfant, 1995), and for the movement of restyled ideas and images about esteemed inheritances and revered local/regional/diasporic affinities (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, 1998). Tourism is fast becoming the enunciatory vehicle of choice by which restless populations, subjugated peoples, freshly or correctively announce themselves and their precious, treasured, or sacred environments to the world (Hollinshead, 1998a, 1998b), and thereby tourism is also fast becoming the channel that helps render the world so much more “plural” and/or “new,” particularly “as the non-West accumulates the resources to speak back and be listened to in the West” (Featherstone, 1995, p. 147).
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Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: *University of Luton, England 2: Texas A&M University

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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