Sociology of Tourism

Discipline: Sociology
Instructor: Scott
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1550
End: 1705
Field Class: Day 1 - Wednesday, 18 March | Mauritius Download Syllabus

This course is an examination the relationship between tourism and social life from a sociological perspective. The root idea being that it is natural for human beings to make contact with other human beings and for societies to create leisure institutions to engage in cultural exchange and enjoyment. This course will examine tourist practices and how they are shaped and made meaningful within a social context. As we investigate why people travel, how they travel, and what they do while they are “on the road”, we will see that tourism is not on the margins of the social world, but rather deeply interconnected with everyday social life, from the personal to the global. Through readings, discussing and writing, we will explore the ways tourism is a material, symbolic, and political representation of many of the features of contemporary society’s achievements and ills: modernity and post modernity, consumption and cultural commoditization, the aestheticization of everyday life, democratization and social inequalities, questions of authenticity, embodiment and identity, gender relations, technology, social mobility and power, and globalizati  We will review the tourist-related discourses and research literatures to instill the directions these conversations are taking in the 21st century. century. Finally, we will study the tourist practices in each country we visit as a unique case study of global leisure life.

Field Class

Country: Mauritius
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 18 March

It is projected by the Vision 2020 report by the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure in Mauritius that by 2014 tourism will more than double from 422,263 to l,030,000.   Why? Mauritius is one of the most beautiful islands in the world and is considered an oasis of beauty and peace in the Indian Ocean, but at whose expense?  A cultural cornucopia of melting post of religions, with Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, cultural mixtures of “colored” and privileged peoples from all over the world, and spectacular white beaches are protected by a coral reef barrier that encircles the entire coastline. First, our purpose of the field lab is to examine island tourism and gain an up-close understanding of the interplay between world-class five starred resorts, local NGO’s that critic who works tirelessly to reduce threats to the coastlines of Mauritius, and the government groups linked the Minister and Leisure Office. Second, we wish to identity and raise questions of the “stakeholders’ on all sides says, doing, influencing policy, environment, and political decisions? Finally, our field lab will take us to the charming coastal village of Flic en Flac, and we will spend our time there exploring the “pros and cons” of tourism.  We will examine the truths and myths of “studying up”—by examining the ways of the wealthy and the beliefs or myths that their presence creates a trickle-down effect on the poverty, democratic stability, and well-being of the lives of Mauritians. Academic Objectives: 1. To witness the socio-economic divide in Flic en Flac. 2. To listen to the voices of that from privilege and non-privilege. 3. To discern the arguments and the actions that follow impact on the people, families and land of Mauritius.