ASA06: Cosmopolitanism and Anthropology
Cosmopolitanism and Tourism - Alison Phipps
Is it really possible to configure international tourism as cosmopolitanism? When do people become cosmopolitans, when do people become tourists? What happens in terms of learning processes, embodiment, display to mark such transitions or layerings of human being?
The relationship between cosmopolitanism and tourism raises particular questions relating to different conceptions of movements of people, their artifacts, their languages and their modes of being and modes of dwelling. Are tourists also cosmopolitans? Are cosmopolitans tourists? Both concepts are freighted with social meanings – the one has a history of reaching towards utopianism, the other to massification. To study the cosmopolis has historical antecedents, to study tourism, as opposed to travel, is a more ‘modern’ and disputed endeavor.
This relationship raises questions of time. Tourism is largely – though not entirely – thought of as ephemeral, of short duration and as marking certain moments in the life-cycle. Cosmopolitanism suggests a different relationship to time, of longer duration.
Tourism and cosmopolitanism may also be differentiated by their differing relationships to place. Tourism is seen as a mass phenomenon; changing, preserving, and consuming places as itineraries. Cosmopolitanism also changes, preserves and consumes places. Do these modes of being co-exist but with differing perspectives?
Furthermore, questions are raised relating to the virtues of cosmopolitanism and tourism, and to their moral dimensions. An anthropology of cosmopolitanism and tourism needs to investigate the real and imagined presences of distant others. It also needs to investigate anti- cosmopolitanism and anti-tourism to see what may be discovered from differing forms of resistance.
This panel invites papers which consider the relationship between cosmopolitanism and tourism and which do so by drawing on original historical and/or ethnographic research. It is interested in papers which engage in a discussion of the process of cultural change that occur through the accretion of tourism to cosmopolitan places, and practices and also by the cosmopolitanising of tourism places and practices. In particular this panel is interested in the everyday nature of tourism and cosmopolitanism and the way in which both concepts may be challenged through anthropological reflection on normative behaviours.
Respondent: Prof. Mike Robinson