The Camino de Santiago is a UNESCO World Heritage Trail which has become a symbol of the shared history and culture of European nations. In recent years, Spanish institutions and economic actors have perceived the Camino as an opportunity to promote tourism and to reverse the de-population of rural areas of northern Spain. Consequently, the Camino has undergone a process of tourism promotion and commodification that has transformed it in various ways. Drawing on a long-term ethnographic engagement, this article explores the ongoing transformations of the Camino in the region of Maragatería (Spain), showing that commodification processes tend to bind the Camino to a physical structure, disregarding its intangible aspects. As institutional and market logics have been imposed on the Camino, the alternative logics of other social actors have been delegitimized and gradually expelled from the Camino. The alternative forms of reasoning of these actors facing commodification are analyzed through the concept of "minor logics." The suppression of minor logics is interpreted as a self-destroying process that ultimately erodes the social creativity on which the Camino's aura of authenticity as a tourism product depends.


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pp. 969-999
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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