Cover image for Being a tourist : finding meaning in pleasure travel
Being a tourist : finding meaning in pleasure travel
Harrison, Julia D. (Julia Diane), 1953-
Publication Information:
Vancouver : UBC Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 262 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G156 .H37 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
G156 .H37 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



What is meaningful about the experience of travelling abroad? Whatfeeds the impulse to explore new horizons? In Being a Tourist,Harrison analyzes her conversations with a large group ofupper-middle-class travellers. Why, she asks, do these people investtheir resources -- financial, emotional, psychological, and physical --in this activity? Harrison suggests that they are fuelled by severaldesires, including a search for intimacy and connection, an expressionof personal aesthetic, an exploration of the understanding of"home," and a sensemaking strategy for a globalized world.She also reflects on the moral and political complexities of thetravels of these people.

Being a Tourist draws on a wide range of social theory,going beyond current debates of authenticity and consumption.Engagingly and thoughtfully written, it will be required reading forthose in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and, moregenerally, for anyone interested in tourism studies and travelwriting.

Author Notes

Julia Harrison, formerly a museum curator, is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Trent University

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Readers seeking insight into the psychology of travel from seasoned travelers will find that this title fills a gap in the tourist literature, since books dealing with psychological aspects are few in comparison with the area-based case studies, tourism genre treatments, and economic cost/benefit analyses that dominate the field. Harrison (anthropology, Trent Univ.) mines two solid studies in this vein--Philip Pearce's The Social Psychology of Tourist Behaviour (CH, Feb'83) and The Tourist Experience: A New Introduction (2002, 2nd ed.), an anthology edited by Chris Ryan--but they are general in scope, reviewing past research and suggesting theoretical frameworks for analyzing tourist motivation and assessing the tourist experience. Harrison, in contrast, considers these subjects using a 33-person sample of avid middle-class Canadian travelers, providing a very fine-grained analysis of the meanings they draw from their travels, with numerous quotations from the individuals involved and a profile of each of them. The flavor is ethnographic and particularistic; Harrison provides many conceptual frames through which to view the experiences of her interviewees, yet their own voices come through. This retention of individuality makes the book unique, providing an unusual narrative depth. The author's command of the theoretical literature is impressive. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. C. Hendershott New School University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
1. Being a Touristp. 3
2. Making Connectionsp. 43
3. The Tourist Aestheticp. 92
4. Journeying Homep. 139
5. Colouring the World's Mapp. 164
6. Coming Backp. 205
Travellers' Biographiesp. 214
Notesp. 233
References Citedp. 243
Indexp. 255