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Slum Tourism: A Review of State-of-the-Art Scholarship

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In this review article, Rodanthi Tzanelli notes that (today) "slum," "favela," or "township" tourism (i.e., visitations to urban sites of squalor and poverty for leisure, education, or philanthropy) has evolved into a mobility trend worthy of dedicated study by tourism scholars. She signposts relevant contemporary studies and arguments on the subject by focusing upon the ways in which slum tourist "motivations" are structured socially and culturally at transcultural, international levels and not just as localized or individualized preferences. As a result, this review article taps into issues of capitalist demand and supply of exotic poverty and otherness. Tzanelli's aim is to highlight the social scientific traditions on which present dominant arguments on tourism supply and motivation are constructed, so as to shed light on the underlying norms and values by which the overall study area is informed. To this end, she discusses how different analytical modes connect to specific "gazes" or styles of study of slum tourism, which are by turn informed by particular epistemological frameworks. In her view, such epistemologies produce different versions of reality about slums that circulate in intellectual and policy networks. (Abstract by the Reviews Editor)
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: May 17, 2018

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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