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With the improved communication system, this industry has got pace and this has made this industry profitable. Large numbers of people are being involved in this industry. This is a source of huge amount of revenue for any country.

Hosts and guests : the anthropology of tourism

As a result of tourism, cultures of both of these groups are being influenced by each other. So, anthropology has a strong relation with the study of tourism. The subject matter of anthropology and tourism are relevant to each other. This is the beginning how anthropology of tourism has been evolved.

Anthropology is a scientific discipline that study humankind. It thinks that human being is composed of both biological and cultural components. They not only inherit biological qualities but also cultural qualities. Culture, that makes human unique in the animal kingdom.

Sociology of tourism

Anthropology deals with three basic aspects of human being, i. According to Haviland there are five key themes in Anthropology. These are the nature of culture, culture and survival, the formation of groups, the search for order and change and the future. Apart from there are applied aspect of anthropology where anthropological knowledge can be useful to solve the practical problems. Applied and practicing anthropologists put anthropological methods, information, and results to use, in efforts to solve practical problems Ember, Ember and Peregrine, Not only that, earlier anthropologists mainly concentrate on local life, but anthropologists now study all kinds of societies and also because the methodological repertoire has become more varied Erisen It is also consist of lots of other sub disciplines.

Anthropology of tourism is one such sub discipline of Anthropology. If we look back to the history of mankind, we could find that human nature is to roam from one place to another.

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There are number of reasons that are responsible for which man arrange tour for a particular place. Tourism is now considered as for pleasure making. Through the process of tourism at least two cultural groups come in contact with each other. Therefore, tourism is a subject matter of anthropology. According to Burns and Holden anthropology and tourism have an obvious synergy. Both seek to identify and make sense of culture and human dynamics. Tourism is a global set of activities crossing many cultures, there is a need for deeper understanding of the consequences and interactions between the generating and receiving tourism societies.

Anthropology has important contributions to offer to the study of tourism, especially through…basic ethnography…as well as the acculturation model and the awareness that tourism is only one element in culture change Smith Burns 67 has pointed out that the major themes of anthropology can be applied in the study of tourism.

Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism

This may be possible like following ways. According to Nash process of recognizing anthropology of tourism as a unique sub-discipline was not quite frictionless. Because earlier it was considered that tourism is the domain of economists, geographers or business managers. On the other hand anthropologists were reluctant to recognize themselves with tourists, as they consider themselves as expert in fieldwork. Not even this, anthropologists were not capable enough to understand the significance of social-cultural significance of tourism.

Apart from this anthropologists were not interested on modern or post-modern phenomenon like tourism.

Lastly, anthropologists were not considered tourism as a serious scholarly issue of study. The theoretical origin of anthropology of tourism was based on the ideas of some renowned social scientists like Emile Durkheim, Arnold Van Gennep and Victor Turner. Durkheim in his essay The Elementary Forms of Religious Life has referred that society constantly creating sacred things among the ordinary things.

In the process of creating sacred things rituals and religion have important roles.

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These rituals and religion provide society more social solidarity. Sacred is something which is above the real thing. Religious thoughts bring into a certain degree of intensified psychic conditions. Similarly Van Gannep theorized the transformation of the individuals during their life cycle and analyzed the rites of passage. He further put forwarded that rites of passage consist of three elements.

These are separation, liminality and incorporation. Liminality is a period of isolation or seclusion after the period of separation. Incorporation is a period of re-integration into the society with a new social status. The rituals under rites of passage have the capability of strengthen the collective sentiments. From here Victor Turner developed the idea of transitions. For instance drinking of alcohol is not accepted in Indian society.

But in ceremonial time it is accepted to some extent. In case of a traveler, when he move out for travel trip he had to pass through series of rituals before leaving of home. This period may be considered as separation. When he roams in his trip this period is known as liminality. At the end of his trip when he returns back to his home and get involve in his daily life, this period is known as incorporation. Tourism may be considered as sacred.

It is worshipped like totem as described by Durkheim. Tourism might be seen as totem of freedom.

Edited by Valene L. Smith

Thus worshipping of tourism is a symbol of social and economic freedom. Tourism is a form of Imperialism:.

Tourism is considered as an incursion of the urban culture into the rural culture. It has been damaging the rural culture wrought by the urban culture for the sake of tourism. Even this destruction process goes on unconsciously and unintentionally by the super-ordinate culture over sub-ordinate culture.


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According Nash there are several themes which have influenced the study of tourism from social science perspective. Following are the summaries of those themes Burns :. Jafar Jafari has explained how five key themes of anthropology; the nature of culture; culture and survival; the formation of groups; the search for order and change and the future are interconnected with tourism Burns Jafari has sub divided the tourism system into two sub-systems, the generating regions and the receiving areas.

He further placed these two sub-systems within the context of the zones of mutual interdependence. He then tried to build up a relationship between demand and supply, which is beyond the concepts of economics. As a result of this they have to shift their attention to other locations. This theme of anthropology of tourism is quite different from the political scientists. There are ample scopes for anthropologists to study on tourism.

Tourism provides opportunity to interact various cultures and sub-cultures. Therefore, chances change may be studied through anthropology. On the other hand tourism is a widespread global phenomenon.

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P Anthropology and tourism

It happens all over the world irrespective of the complexity of the human culture. Not only this, tourism provides an opportunity to experience the non-instrumental travel, which is for the purpose of recreation of mind. Lastly, tourism is responsible for transformation of pre-industrial world in contact with industrialized or post-industrialized world.

All of these reasons ultimately help anthropology to find out the underneath value systems of the complex and interconnected societies of modern world by considering tourism as a part of general social process.