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Empty Meeting Grounds : The Tourist Papers - Dean MacCannell

Empty Meeting Grounds

The Tourist Papers

Paperback

Published: 6th August 1992
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"Empty Meeting Grounds" continues Dean MacCannell's post-anthropological search for the cultural subject that is about to emerge from the encounter of the ex-primitive and the postmodern. Here he follows the tourists in their attempts to penetrate the deep periphery (in an essay entitled "Cannibalism Today") and then back home again (in "The Desire to Be Postmodern").
"Empty Meeting Grounds" examines the new cultural forms and community arrangements that accompany the development of global tourism. MacCannell examines the implications of the movement of tourists on Highland Thai trekking tours of primitive villages, and the New Guinea "cannibal tours," and sets this new form of "tourism" against the corresponding reverse movement of formerly primitive and peasant peoples from the remote periphery to western centers of wealth and power.
In "Empty Meeting Grounds," MacCannell does not treat these two opposing movements as unrelated. Rather, he sees the linkage between the "ex-primitive" and the postmodern as ineluctable at the level of emerging global culture. The thesis of this book is that human kind has already arrived at, perhaps even gone beyond, the historical moment of the invention of a new kind of community, but we are not yet capable of facing the implication of our collective invention. Will it be a synthesis of the positive human dimensions of so-called "primitive" existence and the beneficial elements of modern social systems and technologies? Or will it be the most repressive alienated existence we have so far devised for ourselves?
Written in the spirit of theoretical activism, MacCannell speculates about the future while being grounded in the present. His theoretical discussions are based upon practical examples: his analyses cover the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Statue of Liberty restoration project, the management of Yosemite National Park and the sale of an entire town of Chinese farmworkers.

"MacCannell's strength lies in his ability to dissect this lingering disquiet, so often lying behind the gaudy innocence of the package holiday, without railing against the tourist experience from the vantage point of informed high culture." -"The Times Literary Supplement "This is a brilliant book. MacCannell unmasks the political face of terror too often occluded by scholars working within contemporary strands of cultural criticism . . . Rich, accessible and important." -Peter McLaren, Miami University, Oxford

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgementsp. x
Introductionp. 1
Ex-Primitive and Postmodernp. 15
Cannibalism Todayp. 17
Orange County, Yugoslaviap. 74
Postmodern Community Planningp. 87
Nature Incorporatedp. 114
Majority Discoursep. 119
White Culturep. 121
The Liberty Restoration Projectp. 147
Reconstructed Ethnicityp. 158
The Locke Casep. 172
Postmodernization and Its Discontentsp. 181
The Desire to Be Postmodernp. 183
Spectaclesp. 230
The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DCp. 280
Afterwordp. 283
Bibliographyp. 310
Name Indexp. 322
Subject Indexp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415056939
ISBN-10: 0415056934
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 6th August 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.57 x 13.89  x 3.07
Weight (kg): 0.46
Edition Number: 1