Trips and their Reason

Dean MacCannell

in The Ethics of Sightseeing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520257825
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948655 | DOI:
Trips and their Reason

Show Summary Details


This chapter addresses the apparatus supporting intentional sightseeing and how it differs from other moments of noticing. Tourists experience anxiety about their sightseeing. Tours are sequentially phased as follows: desire, intent, plan, permission, securing the home, departure and travel, arriving in the presence, moral impoverishment, return and response. The chapter treats the erotics and exigencies of these phases. Tourist desire distinguishes itself from all other types of desire by having the most foolproof program for its realization. The tourist must supplement desire with intent. During planning, the erotics of sightseeing is mixed with practical considerations of the costs and logistics of travel. Erving Goffman proposed his rule of irrelevance as a straightforward analogue to the Kantian idea of “an end in itself.” The chapter discusses the “Jerusalem syndrome,” the “Stendhal syndrome,” and the “Paris syndrome,” which show that not all tourists are mentally able to withstand their sightseeing experiences.

Keywords: sightseeing; tourists; tours; desire; intent; plan; Jerusalem syndrome; Stendhal syndrome; Paris syndrome; rule of irrelevance

Chapter.  7313 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.