Skip to main content

Slum Tourism: Representing and Interpreting ‘Reality’ in Dharavi, Mumbai

Buy Article:

$47.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

This article examines how Dharavi is represented to, and interpreted by, tourists participating in walking tours around Mumbai's largest slum. Across the world ‘the slum’ is positioned as space more authentic and realistic than the artifice of the concrete cityscape, as demonstrated by the recent fascination surrounding ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. By first exploring the complex geography and history of Dharavi, this article lays the foundation for arguing that any representation of this place can only ever be subjective, conditional and uncertain. Through interviews and surveys with tour guides, tour-goers and slum dwellers this article evaluates how Dharavi is represented by ‘Reality Tours and Travel’, and how its message is interpreted by their tour-goers. It becomes clear these tours do have a capacity to change negative perceptions about slums, albeit in a highly individualized context. The article concludes that the tour partially achieves its transformative aims, although its ability to alter any negative images of slums remains restricted by the very techniques it uses to position Dharavi as a place of archetypal ‘reality’.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Dharavi; India; Mumbai; poorism; poverty tourism; reality; slum tourism; slumming

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography,Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, UK

Publication date: 2012-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more