Anthropology of Tourism

Code: ΕΠ 619

Semester: 6


Konstantinos Kalantzis

Course description

This course explores tourism from a social-science perspective, privileging the scope of social anthropology/ethnography. The course will overview a wide range of cultural experiences that emerge in tourism, while also arguing that key components of tourism (such as the search for alterity, the photographing of Other places and the reviewing of services) increasingly infuse daily life in most locales around the globe. In the course, students are introduced to basic theoretical ideas and tools that have emerged since the mid-late 20th century for the study of tourism (e.g., the search for authenticity, tourism as a rite of passage, tourism imaginaries, dark tourism and so on). Tourism, in the course, will be further related to political discussions concerning exoticism, center-periphery asymmetries and representation as power. We also be exploring the ways in which visual/digital media produce particular kinds of possibilities and encounters in tourism. The course builds on case-studies from Greece and elsewhere and students will thus have the chance to consider particular ethnographic instances, through which scholars theorize tensions and experiences in fields such as: development, hospitality, tradition and its reinventions, etc. A wide range of materials from popular culture such as brochures, blogs, travelogues and articles in the press will be analyzed in class in order to illuminate the complex intersections between tourism and experiences of time, nationhood, gender as well as tourism’s role in social and economic change and conflict.



Sociocultural anthropology, tourism, alterity, center-periphery, sex, social geography, exoticism, Orientalism, the gaze, cultural heritagem spatial tensions.




Suggested bibliography


Alneng, V. (2002). The Modern Does not Cater for Natives: Travel Ethnography and the Conventions of Form. Tourist Studies 2(2): 119–142.


Bruner, Edward. 2004. Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Candea, M, and G. da Col. (2012). The Return to hospitality.  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18 (1): 1–19.


Kalantzis. Konstantinos. 2020. “Modernity as Cure and Poison: Visual Culture and Ambiguous Stillness in Therasia, Greece”, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Ειδικό τεύχος:  Rethinking the Mediterranean, επιμ.: Simon Holdermann, Christoph Lange, Michaela Schäuble and Martin Zillinger.


MacCannell, Dean. 1999. The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Robinson, Mike και David Picard. 2009. The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography. Surrey: Ashgate.


Stasch, Rupert, 2017. “Tourism.” The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology.