Recruited to be a lecturer on a group tour of Indonesia, Edward M. Bruner decided to make the tourists aware of tourism itself. He photographed tourists photographing Indonesians, asking the group how they felt having their pictures taken without their permission. After a dance performance, Bruner explained to the group that the exhibition was not traditional, but instead had been set up specifically for tourists. His efforts to induce reflexivity led to conflict with the tour company, which wanted the displays to be viewed as replicas of culture and to remain unexamined. Although Bruner was eventually fired, the experience became part of a sustained exploration of tourist performances, narratives, and practices.
Synthesizing more than twenty years of research in cultural tourism, "Culture on Tour" analyzes a remarkable variety of tourist productions, ranging from safari excursions in Kenya and dance dramas in Bali to an Abraham Lincoln heritage site in Illinois. Bruner examines each site in all its particularity, taking account of global and local factors, as well as the multiple perspectives of the various actors--the tourists, the producers, the locals, and even the anthropologist himself. The collection will be essential to those in the field as well as to readers interested in globalization and travel.
"Culture on Tour is as much a discussion of what is at stake generally for cultural anthropology, as it adapts itself to 21st-century social life, as it is a discussion of tourism per se by one of the most knowledgeable senior scholars. . . . Looking beyond the volume's substantial contribution to the anthropology of tourism, I recommend Culture on Tour to anyone engaged in questions concerning the future of ethnographic practice generally. Especially for those who call into question the continued viability of the ethnographic method to contemporary topics of inquiry."--Sally Ann Ness "American Ethnologist "
"This eminently readable work will be of great value to scholars (at undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in the fields of anthropology, tourism studies, cultural studies, sociology, cultural geography, and to those with an interest in globalization, travel and performance. Culture on Tour is a testament to Bruner the ethnographer and Bruner the tourist/traveller, and certainly not least to Bruner the raconteur."--Kristina Jamieson "Anthropological Forum "
"About twenty years ago, anthropologists began to take notice of the tourists who were sharing their exotic redoubts. Edward Bruner is one of the strongest voices in the first generation of scholars to understand how the field of ethnography is radically changed by broadening it to include the tourist. This helpful volume gathers in one place Bruner's vivid observations of the ethnological subject under the influence of tourism."
"Since the mid-1950s, Edward Bruner has been studying people on the move. Always the consummate ethnographer, often an inquiring tourist, and sometimes an even more inquiring tour guide, Bruner documents contemporary cultures of travel and reflects tellingly on changing anthropological sensibilities. His insistence on touristic practices as social performances in their own right, not mere imitations of something else, is crucial for untangling culture theory from our folk notions of 'authenticity.'"
"Edward M. Bruner's Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel
is a bracing compendium of anthropological essays decoding specific tourist sites. . . . Bruner's emphasis is on complexity and process; he declines to disparage tourists as a class or to assume that local residents are objects of exploitation. He sees multiple, competing meanings in individual sites, contrasting meanings in different sites in the same country, and changes in the meaning of sites over time. . . . Bruner's . . . fascinating book also whirls through Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, delineating what he calls 'touristic border-zones.'-real places where tourists encounter locals in performance. Tourism, for Bruner, is 'improvisational theater ... where both tourist and local are actors.'"-Julia M. Klein, Chronicle of Higher Education
"This monograph deserves a warm reception . . . not least because it opens up a specialist field, in this case the anthropology of tourism, to a wider readership. What Bruner's work shows in particular is that while social scientists can stand back and analyze why there are tensions within a given social setting it is often very difficult for the participants . . . to comprehend why this should be so."
--Michael Hitchcock "Anthropological Quarterly "