Maximiliano Korstanje
Universidad de Palermo Departamento de Ciencias Económicas Argentina []

Para citar el artículo: Korstanje, M. (2017). Tourism research, for what? Turismo y Sociedad, XX, pp. 75-86. DOI:

1 Fecha de recepción: 2 de junio de 2016 Fecha de modificación: 6 de agosto de 2016 Fecha de aceptación: 16 de septiembre de 2016


While tourism scholars have struggled over decades to establish tourism as a valid academic discipline, it's no less true that social scientists have developed a negative image of our colleagues. This in fact happens because for social imaginary leisure and tourism are na´ve activities, or practices enrooted in an alienatory nature. Paradoxically, many of founding parents of sociology of tourism was embraced this belief, the advance of modernity, as well as tourism, will disorganize the social ties. In this essay review, we place the French Tradition under the critical lens of scrutiny revealing alternatives in tourism epistemology between tourism as a profit-oriented industry and as a mechanism of discipline.

Keywords: Tourism, leisure, french tradition, alienation, escapement.


Mientras los eruditos del turismo han luchado durante décadas para establecer el turismo como una disciplina seria, no menos cierto es que han recibido una crítica exhaustiva por parte de los epistemólogos de otras disciplinas. El hecho sugiere que el imaginario social tilda el turismo de ser una actividad simple y superficial que, en razón de tal, queda sujeta a un proceso de alienación que le precede. Paradójicamente, para los padres fundadores de la sociología del turismo, el avance de la globalización y la organización de la práctica turística encierran un carácter negativo para los lazos sociales. En esta revisión conceptual, repasamos críticamente el legado de la tradición francesa y revelamos no solo otras alternativas epistémicas para el turismo, sino que discutimos la necesidad de vencer los paradigmas económico-céntricos vigentes en la disciplina.

Palabras clave: Turismo, ocio, tradición francesa, alienación, escape.


New and prominent President of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (IAST), Bob McKercher, pinned a sad message (a newsletter dated on November 2015) to the networks of tourism researchers lamenting Wikipedia's rejection of the academy as a valid record. Upon completing and submitting the application several times, McKercher contended, Wikipedia systematically refused the Academy's inclusion alluding to the lack of independent sources which can be duly verifiable. This means that, unfortunately, The International Academy for the Study of Tourism, regardless of its advances and developments over the recent years, has no gravitas in the public opinion as many other fields have. At a first look, tourism still remains the Cinderella of other social sciences. Though this is a big problem for tourism researchers because they face with what I have dubbed "crisis of tourism epistemology", it is no less true that tourism as an object of study seems to be seen by many colleagues as a na´ve activity, or an alienatory industry which cannot be dissociated from modernity or capitalism. Applied research focuses too much attention not only in what tourists utter, but also appeals to explanations of second-order which are useful to describe (but not to explain) phenomena (Muñoz de Escalona, 1992; 2014; Thirkettle & Korstanje, 2013; Korstanje, Mustellier & Herrera 2016). In several of my books and studies I focused my attention on three scholars who, whether intentionally or not, contributed to undermine the legitimacy of tourism as a credible academic option within social sciences: Paul Virilio, Dean Maccannell and Marc Auge. Influenced by French legacy, which highlights the possibility that the market disrupts the social ties, they have exerted a radical criticism against "tourism", which can be traced in many of their writs. In this essay review, I will explore the advances as well as limitations of French tradition which trivializes the possibility tourism-research crystalizing as a mature discipline. The fact is that tourism plays a vital role in drawing symbolic platform in order to replicate the cultural values enrooted into capitalism. The same limitations faced by the pioneer sociologists as Norbert Elias who set out to study leisure. Modern sociology shrugged off leisure studies as serious option. As Elias puts it, over many years, scholars complained leisure was not a serious object of study. Instead, he widely showed how when nation-states appealed to the division of labour as an attempt to organize the means of production, leisure played a vital role revitalizing the psychological frustrations proper of production-time (Elias & Dunning, 1986). This raises a more than interesting question: to what extent we conceive tourism resulted from modern industrialization, or even as an ancient institution enrooted in other civilizations?

As above stated, I have found interesting evidence which validates the thesis that ancient cultures as Romans, Assyrians or Babylonians developed practices similar to our modern holidays. Archaeologists have discovered the term Feriae which was a leave conferred to citizens to visit relatives or friends in the peripheral roman provinces, was the touchstone towards holiday-making (Paoli, 1963; Hillard, 1972; Korstanje, 2009). It is interesting that today, the word Feriae persisted through languages as German and Portuguese as "ferias", or "ferien". Undoubtedly, this reminds the influence of this old leave (valid for three months) in Indo-Aryan languages. The founding myths offer a fertile ground to understand the redemption of humdrum routine as a rite of passage, underpinned in the eternal quest for a lost-paradise (Korstanje, 2010a; 2011; Korstanje & Busby, 2010; Cardona, Azpelicueta & Serra, 2015; Serra & Cardona, 2015). Anthropologically speaking, Tourism should be strictly defined as a rite of passage whose function is to accommodate or revitalize the social frustration experienced during the logic of work. Therefore, tourism plays a major role in configuring the social fabric of capitalism reproduction. While holiday-makers spend their time and money in destinations, they involuntarily embrace the belief in work but affirm the right of free transit, mobility and trade, which were recently cemented by modern nation-states as natural (Korstanje 2010a; 2010b; 2015a; 2015b).

Readers of the current essay will come across a philosophical discussion in regards to the conceptual barriers placed by French tradition to see tourism beyond the lens of alienation. Secondly, they will find a radical criticism on the legacies of Paul Virilio, Dean Mac-Cannell and Marc Auge who had developed a pejorative viewpoint on tourism. At a later stage, this essay review contains a review of those scholars who have imagined new horizons for applied research in the years to come. The argument postulated here proposes a radical turn in the tourism field which opens the doors to return to Krippendorf s contributions.

The sociology of tourism

Much earlier, Jost Krippendorf developed an all-encompassing model to understand leisure, and tourism within the productive system of society. Based on the legacy of S. Freud and his idea of "escapement", Krippendorf argues convincingly the need of movement to escape from routine not only was practiced by ancient or non-European cultures, but also is enrooted in our deep psychological structure. Those deficits are suffered by the workforce should be sublimated towards constructive forms that paradoxically reinforce the rules of productivity. The quest for novelty, which is adjoined to entertainment, leads to holidays that should be held in a sacred-space where individual dreams are fulfilled. Far from being a simple profit-oriented industry, tourism forges a specific consciousness that signals to the current state of production (Krippendorf, 1975; 1982; 1986; 1987a; 1987b; 1989; 1995; 1993). In agreement with with Elias, Krippendorf acknowledged that the study of tourism and mobility issues opens the doors to understanding how society keeps united. It was unfortunate that Krippendorf s contributions were historically covered by tourism-led research that assigned value to scholars who, paradoxically, developed a pejorative connotation of the activity. As NoguésPedregal observed, international academy applauded the steps of Dean MacCannell when he really undermined the legitimacy of tourism research beyond the fields of anthropology and sociology. There remained a difficult genealogy between tourism and anthropology cemented by the belief that leisure and tourism are alienatory activities which reinforce the centre-periphery dependence (Nogués-Pedregal, 2009). This belief raises the following question, what is the social background why this theory was formulated?

The french tradition in sociology

During many years, philosophers and social scientists wonder what the key factor that keeps society united is: How does society work?

To some extent, Emile Durkheim, one of the founding parents of sociology, was interested in solving this question. For Professor Durkheim, society should be studied through the interpretation of social facts. Normatively, our behaviours seem to be previously conditioned by the role played by each agent within a societal system. In view of that, society is formed by the individual wishes, which are organized into a single shared-consciousness once forged, paradoxically escaping to individual whims. Therefore, it is important not to lose sight those sociologists and fieldworkers should understand social institutions in order to better knowing why people act as they do. In his well-known book The division of labor in society, Durkheim (2014b) acknowledges that any integration is given by the circulation of trust among members of the in-group, but this exchange is accomplished according to specific societal patterns which range from hunter-gatherers to sedentary modes of production. The concept of solidarity as the act of giving while receiving was coined by Marcell Mauss, Durkheim's nephew, and started a hot debate in French sociology. The main thesis was that the evolution of productive system is subject to two types of solidarity: mechanical and organic. The former signals to the necessary cohesion and solidarity that was found in tribal organizations; many of them were supported by the religious life or the attachment to Totem (a sacred figure which guides the life of the tribe). The latter is characterized by the rise and expansion of industrialism which organized social ties according to the legal contract. In Industrial societies, social cohesion is not only more fluid and flexible, but also weaker than in tribal communities (Durkheim 1951; 1988; 1974; 2014). This observation, which was founded on a conceptual fallacy assuming European cultures were more evolved than non-European, has persisted within French sociology for decades now. The colonialist discoverers found that aborigines were "savages" who never embraced "the logic" of Europeanness. Nonetheless, a belief of this caliber showed Europeans two important things. Savages were living in natural conditions beyond the power of alienation. Secondly, they should be protected from the advance of industrialism, which threatened to destroy their cultural ethos. Undoubtedly, the needs for heritage-management and colonialism were historically intertwined.

The implicit proposition that dwellers of Americas were "good savages", disposed of rationale but free of choice respect to the rule of reason, was one of the main beliefs of European paternalism. One day, Europe was in the same condition but the evolution, as a guiding force, not only determined a radical shift in consciousness but led Europeans to a superior position in the ladder compared to non- European cultures. This paternalism, widely studied in anthropology, paved the ways for the ideological discourse of colonialism.

Not only in Durkheim but in French tradition, alienation (a concept already developed by Germans as Marx and Mannheim) played a vital role as disrupting rule that steers workers far from they what really need. Ordinary-people living in urban areas are more prone to alienation than other human groups. In other terms, this means that the rise of industrialism or capitalism would inevitably affect the social normalization of daily life, wreaking havoc in the trust. For example, Mauss (2000) interpreted the formation of society as the combination of two contrasting spirits, the act of giving and giving-while-receiving. Once I receive something from others it creates a circuit of exchange, which paves the ways for the rise of authority. This discovery was continued by Marshal Sahlins (1972) who explores the channels of reciprocity as the main reason why society functions as a unity. As he noted,

Reciprocity stipulates two sides, two distinct social-economics interests. Reciprocity can establish solidary relations, insofar as the material assistance or mutual benefits, yet the social fact of sides is inescapable. (Sahlins, 1972, p. 189).

If transactions are putatively altruistic, which denotes one side asking nothing of the other, we don't have a generalized reciprocity but rather one turned to a balanced subtype where both sides are in compromise to give back to the other a counter-gift. Since money is a gift, which can be created to mediate with other commodities, no less true is that the use of money responds to a clear example how balanced reciprocity works. When guests pay for their rooms they give a gift which is returned in form of lodging. Lastly, the attempt to get something at no cost signals to the egoist reciprocity. Not only anthropology owes gratitude to Sahlins' by his discoveries in regards to social ties, but by his studies in the ways economy is conceived (Weiner, 1992).

As the previous argument proposes, R. Sugden (2005) explains people do not interact with others in a quest for pleasure-maximization, as specialized literature suggests, but in order to achieve goals. In this respect, reciprocity leads to forms of cooperation that places people together in search of a broader aim.

From its inception, the French sociology developed a negative connotation of labour and leisure, which was replicated in the following studies conducted by Auge, Virilio and finally MacCannell. Nevertheless, it is no less true that the theory of reciprocity depicts the social scaffolding of nation-state. Sahlins promoted the understanding of hospitality as a gift-while-given pact in order for community to be protected in warfare or exchanging goods and persons in peace time. Even so, hospitality historically served as a mechanism of control between states to weave alliances to boost authority and legitimacy in the politics. Capitalism is something other than the liberal market; it comes from a cultural project that poses a radical meaning of labour, as it was seen in the Middle Age. The question whether French sociology explored the advance of capitalism critically, denouncing on its negative consequences in daily relations, is adjoined to the belief that market is the beast that exploits the powerless workforce. However, this position trivializes the roots of nation-states as well as their disposition to protect capital owners by the imposition of law. As a result, tourism, mobility, and other commercial activities, is defined as an alienatory force self-oriented in disorganizing the social bondage.

Is tourism an alienatory force?

As this backdrop debated in earlier sections, MacCannell was a pioneer in intersecting the advances of Structuralism, a French academic wave unknown to tourism-related scholars, with self-ethnography and Goffmanian dramaturgy. Quite aside the enormous and well achieved recognition of MacCannell through the field of sociology of tourism, it is important not to lose the sight that he ignored other ancient forms of tourism beyond the rise of modernity. In this respect, understanding tourism strictly under the lens of alienation, which is based in the dichotomy labour vs. leisure, he argues there were no pre-forms of tourism earlier than industrial revolution. In view of that, it is not accidental that the advance of tourism as a derived effect for global modernity. If aborigines endorsed considerable legitimacy and authority to the Totem, MacCannell adds, in industrial societies where social trust plummeted tourism plays a vital role controlling the means of production. Based on its alienatory nature, tourism legitimates the climate of exploitation over workers by the introduction of consumption and sightseeing. The exchange of goods leaves to them only a marginal portion of capital, which is determined by the combination of prices and costs. Following this, poverty and oppression are a natural consequence of production. This pervasive system situates capital-owners as a privilege group that monopolizes not only the means of production but the current legal jurisprudence at their discretion. While capitalism advanced changing the social institutions substantially, Toteminsm sets the pace to tourism as a great organizer of social fabric. Originally in contrast with Urry's concept of tourist-gaze, MacCannel's career can be divided in three stages. The first referred to the connection of signs with productive systems. He was obsessed with understanding how staged-authenticity mediates between citizens and their institutions in a society where social bondage has declined (MacCannell, 1973). Next, the second facet delves into the effects of capitalism in daily life. In this context, tourism, like totem in primitive communities, revitalizes the frustrations and resulted alienation of urban societies. Not surprisingly, Maccannell adds, Marx was in the correct side at denouncing the oppression suffered by the workforce. Nonetheless, leisure, far from being an ideological mechanism of control (as in whole Marxism), prevents the social disintegration (MacCannell, 1976; 1984). A last more radical insight situates tourism from "the fields of ethics". Whether tourism has proved to be something else than an economic activity, there is a lack of interest for the "Other" who is toured -gazed- to get a hedonist experience. Originally opposed to Urry's view, MacCannell does not use the term "gaze" because it is a Foucaultian term that denotes control. Far from being the nature of tourism, gazing leads to alienation because the result experience is not the result of a genuine contact with the "Other". Everything that can be seen suggests another reality which remains concealed. Further, the goals of tourism not only are the leave from ordinary life as Urry argues, but the formation of a meta-discourse towards a new consciousness. It is unfortunate that digital technologies and mass-consumption are undermining the attachment of people to their cultures and traditions. This leads MacCannell to contend that tourism is reproducing "empty meeting grounds". (MacCannell, 2001; 2011; 2012).

Similarly directed observations can be traced and found in the works of Paul Virilio and Marc Augé regarding tourism. Paul Virilio confirms that the current stage of hyper-mobility produces an excess of time, more leisure which produces a gap fulfilled by media articulation of ideology. In order for mass media to gain further legitimacy, news is produced and disseminated not only to enhance the profit-oriented goals but the interests of status quo. While movement is accelerated by high-techs innovation, social trust is undermined in new ways as the content of information is replaced by the velocity it is transmitted. This means that regardless to what is said, by the velocity any news is soon replaced by other events. The question of whether technology boosted serious improvements in the ways people travelled notwithstanding, these technological breakthroughs blurred the boundaries between present and past-time, between there and here, and life and death. Nowadays, media fictionalizes natural disasters or tragedies obscuring the cause of these events. Whenever Media portrays the terrorist attacks in Club Med Resorts in Middle East, less is known about the reasons for the jihadists hostility towards West. Hostility against West and us happens because tourists are travelers of desolation, or in other terms from emptied spaces (Virilio, 1989; 1994; 1997). Last but not least, French tradition connoted a negative definition of mobility, which increased or not, leads towards the theory of NonPlaces in Marc Augé.

More polemic than the other two exponents, Auge introduces in the discussion a new neologism to understand modernity; the term non-places was originally coined in his book Non-lieux. Introduction a une antropología de la submodernité published in 1992. From that moment on, it is the fashion to talk of non-places, as spaces of anonymity where the traveller's identity is radically altered. Not only is the meaning of non-place being discussed within social sciences, but also in other disciplines as engineering, place management, built-reconstruction or architecture (Augé, 2008). Taking his cue from previous ethnographies in Africa, Augé re-defines the concept of places in view of the relational perspective created by history and tradition. If a place can be defined as a space of tradition, a non-place exhibits the opposite, a much broader tendency towards the nothing (Augé, 1996, p. 83). This existential cosmology is reinforced by Augé's personal fieldworks at Paris' Airport (Augé, 2001; 2008). Our French ethnographer acknowledges that modern tourists are hyper-mobile agents whose autonomy is contrasted by police, customs and security forces at time of presenting the passport. Since identity resulted from the biography of subject, Augé adheres; it is not surprisingly, that airports are spaces where history faded. People not only are alienated from their real identity, they are subject to consumption, that mediate between them and others. The lack of identity prevails in sites where consumers wander in search of best prices, or where their name only is known minutes earlier than their embarking (Augé, 2008). The concept of remoteness and closeness has been substantially altered by the technological breakthroughs which in hours connected destinations in a way that in other times would have been impossible. With these radical changes, the borders of anthropology as the discipline which studied the far-away "other" blurred. Now, aborigines not only live in cities, but also, they drive trucks and fly in airplanes. This leads anthropologists to reconsider their positions as fieldworkers. That way, Augé explores the origin of anthropology as an attempt to understand "the native" who is situated "there", in an exotic place, beyond the influence of western law. Now, rather, the other is like us, lives like us. Therefore, the anthropological boundaries are being blurred (Augé, 2001). To what an extent, modern ethnologists may study faraway others, is one of main problems of the western social sciences epistemology which remains unresolved today (Augé, 1996).

As this argument proposes, tourism would be a type of impossible trip which never starts unless by the fictional world of consumption. The psychological self, in times of postmodernity, was separated from its territorial attachment and re-directed to a symbolic platform, which served in God-like logic. Therefore, non-places not only exist as the necessary infrastructure to facilitate mobility, but they influence the erosion of social ties. Limited to identifiers and producers of meaning, places endorse identity to dwellers orienting their expectations respect to the future. As altars for Gods, monuments work as signifiers to colonize the future, which means typical human responses to the dilemma of death. In urban-spaces the process of identity is not given by history, but determined by external forces in hands of managers and marketers. What tourists finally consumed when visiting the chosen place, it's not the real historical facts as they happened, but "fictional allegories", designed to entertain an international demand. In view of that, Augé's account rests on the belief that hyper-modernity undermines the tradition in sites, commoditizing culture and places into emptied spaces of consumption (Augé, 1997; 1999; 1996; 2001; 2002; 2008).

As what has been discussed, French sociology, which was likely supported by Durkheim's concerns, has envisioned the rise and advance of postmodernism as a threatening force, that unless regulated may very well resonate negatively on individual relationships. To wit the liberal market, together with the excess of mobility and consumption, would play a leading role in the commoditization of cultures, peoples and heritages and to that extent, history falls in the dust of oblivion. Because this wave leaves behind the advance of archaeology and ancient history as disciplines, which pivoted the research in how empires, no matter the times, developed leisure as a form of control of their peripheries, it reaches arguments that rests on shaky foundations. Rather, one might speculate that historically empires and leisure consumption were inextricably intertwined. Professor of Sociology, David Riesman (2001) in his book The Lonely Crowd established that history crystalized into three circular stages of production, which are based on "tradition", "Inner" and "Other-directed" characters. In this respect, economies are depicted by the goods-exchange process as well as the discovery of new lands and markets. The evolution from one stage of production to another is never unilineal, but circular. The tradition-oriented character is given by societies with laws already established by founding parents. This subtype includes aboriginal tribes, or communities situated in Middle Age. Rather, the rise and expansion of Protestant spirit changed to inner-oriented climate which was characterized by the development of personal skills to enhance the division of labour. Over recent decades, Ries-man adds, the protestant logic sets the pace to a new other-oriented rule where the quest of novelty was introduced as the mainstream cultural value. Unlike the other two, this subtype was based on an extreme increase of good-exchange and trade. The cosmology on other-oriented character attempted to gain the "Other" acceptance (Approval) moving from inner to outer life. Certainly, the "inner-directed" ethos that marked the religious life of puritans was gradually changed to new forms. The curiosity for "Others" stems from the imposition of other-directed relational forms. The passage from "inner-directed", that characterized the Protestant Reform, sets the pace to "Other-directed" cosmology once the romantic novels, travels, and the interest for exotic cultures surfaced. The curiosity for the "Other" (MacCannell would agree) is inextricably determinant of capitalist ethos. Nevertheless, the passage from Tradition to Inner-oriented Character and viceversa is not based on the evolutionist doctrine, but it fluctuates depending on the cycles of production and goods-exchange processes. To put this bluntly, Other-oriented types can be found in the major empires of humankind as Romans, Assyrians, Babylonians, and even British Empire and American Capitalism. In this context, tourism accompanies the demographic transformation of empire as well as the index of their peripheral areas of exploitation. Per this view, tourism seems to be the maiden of empires, not exactly a result derived from modernity alone. Empires exploit mobility to build the necessary infrastructure to often extract the basic resources of the periphery in times of peace (Riesman, 2001).

Future orientation discussion

A recent book, edited by Donna Chambers and Tijana Rakic & D. Chambers (2015), calls attention to the need of creating new epistemological horizons for tourism research. In this vein, they follow the legacy of Jafari, who was originally concerned in the crystallization of tourism as a serious academic discipline. Although Jafari worked hard to construct an academic interdisciplinary platform to consolidate tourism, he never said how to ultimately achieve this. Tijana and Rakic suggest that the credibility of academia stems from its ability to gain explanatory capacity respect to the studied facts. Authors set out to respond the same questions initiated this essay, in which case they feel that despite the recent efforts to offer tourism as a promising academic option at American or European universities, a radical-turn emerged over recent years contradicting the hopes of founding parents of the discipline. For them, tourism would reinforce a pro status quo discourse where the non-European other is subordinated to the interests of tourist-gaze (see Urry, Debord or MacCannell). While there is a gap between known and what should be discovered, fieldworkers understand scientific gaze sheds light in one direction, but obscuring other fields. The legitimacy of tourism-research, in a so-not-distant future, will depend on the coverage of new themes, which have not seriously taken into consideration.

The problem of originality for proposing new research horizons, The International Academy for the Study of Tourism shows, adds a much deeper crisis to keep a shared epistemology to be followed by international networks. The lack of a clear object of study as well as the grounds to understand tourism behaviours were two of the great challenges this academy failed to perform. More oriented to profits and marketing than understanding tourism, the academy constructed an idealized image of itself which impeded the dialogue with other scholarship (Thirkettle & Korstanje 2013; Korstanje, 2015b). This created what John Tribe dubbed "the indiscipline of tourism", which can be defined as an epistemological situation of knowledge fragmentation among the different islands of researchers who study tourism in the world (Tribe, 2000; 2010). Besides of the Anglocentrism criticized by Graham Dann in his article How International is the International Academy for the Study of Tourism? as in other works, Dann is concerned by the lack of presence of non-English speakers in the Academy which reflects impossibilities to understand other cosmologies beyond America, England or Australia's viewpoints. Although English situated as an international language in many fields, the Academy for the study of Tourism was not incorporating non-English native fellows (Dann, 2009).

Last but not least, Korstanje (2010b) evinced the supremacy of English in tourism fields does not explain the inconsistency of tourism research, but cements the configuration of one-sided discourse in regards to "hegemonic landscapes" which are adopted by peripheral scholars. From the formation of Editorial board lists, to the acceptance or rejection of the published papers, tourism networks stagnated in biased definitions of tourism which did not permeate with other social disciplines.


In spite of its lack of credibility to be considered seriously, tourism is a driving force which keeps the society functioning. MacCannell is not wrong at accepting modern tourism as a continuation of Totem, but he is misunderstanding its anthropological roots. As a rite of passage, tourism transcends the borders of capitalism, and very well can be found in ancient history associated to imperial structures. Romans, Assyrians and Babylonians developed similar institutions to regulate a temporal escapement of their members into new status. Likely, French tradition which maintained a pejorative connotation of market, tourism represents a corrosive character that alienates rank-and-file workers from its consciousness. In this essay, we have thoroughly discussed to what extent the social imaginary, which Wikipedia librarians echo, trivializes tourism as a vehicle towards unauthenticity. Historian Daniel Boorstin supported this allegory tracing the evolution of travels from discoverers to tourists. He devotes his life to understand the history of the US and its intersection to the evolution of capitalism. While medieval travellers were searching relentlessly for enhancement they were pressed to face numerous threatening events that ultimately cemented the culture of hard-work in America. With the passing of time, it sets the pace to a hedonist trend which not only was aimed at alleviating the suffering and pain, but created a climate of pseudo-reality. As a result of this, Boorstin adds, America offered a set of many artificial products to entertain the citizens. Tourism, within many other cultural entertainment industries, would give to consumers simulated landscapes of some places that are previously consumed by cinema or any other media source (Boorstin, 2012).

Neither the profit oriented paradigm that posed tourism as an industrial activity, nor the French sociological perspective which focuses on the so-called alienatory nature of leisure, we held an alternative thesis. To our understanding, this would be the direction Academy would follow in its struggle to be widely recognized by social imaginary. This reminds that although tourism is a stepping stone in the configuration of modern society, tourism scholars are typically marked as pseudo-academicians or amateur researchers. The paradox lies in the fact that many of the founding parents of the discipline as Mac-Cannell retained serious concerns on the crystallization of tourism as a mainstream institution. In following years, social scientists should explore this fertile ground to understand the roots of social scaffolding.


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