As renown, one main aim of everyday aesthetics is to widen the scope of traditional Western aesthetics beyond the realms of fine arts and nature, so as to uncover the aesthetic potential of the varied phenomena that constitute people's daily life. Tourism and traveling, however, have so far received comparatively little theoretical treatment in the everyday aesthetics literature. This paper attempts to make up for this lack by presenting tourism as a proper object of aesthetic research. Unearthing the aesthetic motivations that animate so-called cultural tourism, it shows that, while searching for 'authenticity' in the visited destination tourists remain trapped in their own, detached, 'tourist gaze'. In order to reconcile this contradiction, we appeal to the theoretical tools provided by everyday aesthetics. After discussing and discarding approaches based on defamiliarization and distancing, we exploit strategies that rely on the adoption of an engaged aesthetic attitude. We conclude by suggesting that the engagement paradigm turns the tourist gaze into a mindful and embodied relation to the visited environment or cultural habit, thereby offering the visitor a chance to appreciate the place's quotidian life while at the same time ensuring aesthetic fulfillment.

Giombini, L. (2021). Cultural Tourism. Authenticity, Engagement, and the Everyday. POPULAR INQUIRY, 2, 5-21.

Cultural Tourism. Authenticity, Engagement, and the Everyday

Lisa Giombini
2021

Abstract

As renown, one main aim of everyday aesthetics is to widen the scope of traditional Western aesthetics beyond the realms of fine arts and nature, so as to uncover the aesthetic potential of the varied phenomena that constitute people's daily life. Tourism and traveling, however, have so far received comparatively little theoretical treatment in the everyday aesthetics literature. This paper attempts to make up for this lack by presenting tourism as a proper object of aesthetic research. Unearthing the aesthetic motivations that animate so-called cultural tourism, it shows that, while searching for 'authenticity' in the visited destination tourists remain trapped in their own, detached, 'tourist gaze'. In order to reconcile this contradiction, we appeal to the theoretical tools provided by everyday aesthetics. After discussing and discarding approaches based on defamiliarization and distancing, we exploit strategies that rely on the adoption of an engaged aesthetic attitude. We conclude by suggesting that the engagement paradigm turns the tourist gaze into a mindful and embodied relation to the visited environment or cultural habit, thereby offering the visitor a chance to appreciate the place's quotidian life while at the same time ensuring aesthetic fulfillment.
Giombini, L. (2021). Cultural Tourism. Authenticity, Engagement, and the Everyday. POPULAR INQUIRY, 2, 5-21.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/397183
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