Tourist Agency

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:
Tourist Agency

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John Urry's The Tourist Gaze provides the first sustained and serious account of the tourist subject or subjectivity. Urry posits a connection between tourist and attraction that exceeds the gaze. The tourist gaze is not a mere gaze, it is a gaze upon something that is taken to be extraordinary from the perspective of the tourist. The presented examples from the Lonely Planet Guide to Japan show a demand that attractions reflect a positive light back onto the tourist, no matter how undeserving the tourist may be. In The Birth of the Clinic and Discipline and Punish, Michel Foucault comments that the clinical gaze maps onto the human body the dotted lines of its eventual autopsy. In his analysis of Hans Holbein's Ambassadors, Jacques Lacan provides a second idea of the gaze, one that opposes the Urry/Foucault position. The second gaze looks for openings and gaps in the cultural unconscious.

Keywords: John Urry; Tourist Gaze; Michel Foucault; Discipline and Punish; Jacques Lacan; tourist gaze

Chapter.  6489 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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