“An Individuality All Its Own”: Tourist City and Tourist Citizens, 1876–1915

Catherine Cocks

in Doing the Town

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520227460
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926493 | DOI:
“An Individuality All Its Own”: Tourist City and Tourist Citizens, 1876–1915

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This chapter talks about the turn-of-the-century city guidebooks and urban sketches that promoted new ways of approaching and moving about cities, and which helped to create the tourist as a distinct social type, and tourism as a distinct spatial practice. The sense of corporate ownership through tourism became most clear in two related forms of visits: historical walking tours and slumming in the neighborhoods of ethnic minorities. Both inscribed on city landscapes the legitimate social authority of well-to-do Americans and encouraged them to repossess large parts of the city given over to commerce and the immigrant working class. Both practices contributed to the erosion of refinement and separate spheres, most obviously by easing the social dangers of public places. They also exemplified the uses of a historical narrative and racial ideas to create a broad sense of social ownership that made genteel self-possession less culturally necessary.

Keywords: tourism; corporate ownership; well to do; historical narrative; racial ideas; city landscapes; city guidebooks; urban sketches

Chapter.  11562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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