Tourism & Sustainability


This course offers an introduction to the political, cultural, and environmental effects of global tourism (with an emphasis on problematic travel trends, such as ecotourism) and sustainable development discourse. Topics include the history of tourism, tourism studies, critiques of authenticity and aesthetics, virtualism, political economy, island studies, political ecology, and critical social theory. Each student prepares a research paper or podcast on a tourism case study. Readings offer anthropological perspectives on the history of tourism; cultures of consumption; problems of authenticity and aesthetics; political economy and ecology; and the challenge of achieving "sustainable" tourism development across diverse natural environments. We will explore tourism as both a cause and effect of globalization (and "localization" movements) by tracking the consumer habits of emerging tourist markets while also considering ethnographic readings of "ecotourism" and the role that nostalgia plays in influencing domestic and international travel patterns. We will further consider tourism as the production and consumption of "tradition," and we will tackle ethically problematic tourist sites.
Course Attributes: EN S; BU Eth; BU BA; BU IS; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC

Section 01

Tourism & Sustainability
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