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Imagineering Otherness: Anthropological Legacies in Contemporary Tourism

From: Anthropological Quarterly
Volume 86, Number 3, Summer 2013
pp. 669-696 | 10.1353/anq.2013.0045



The role of anthropology as an academic discipline that seeds tourism imaginaries across the globe is more extensive than generally acknowledged. In this article, I draw on ethnographic and archival research in Indonesia and Tanzania to examine critically the recycling of long-refuted ethnological ideas and scientific ideologies in contemporary tourism interpretation. A fine-grained analysis of local tour guide narratives and practices in two popular destinations, Yogyakarta and Arusha, illustrates empirically how outdated scholarly models, including anthropological ones, are strategically used to represent and reproduce places and peoples as authentically different and relatively static, seemingly untouched by extra-local influences.

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