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Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond

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Volume 31

New Directions in Anthropology

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Envisioning Eden

Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond

Noel B. Salazar

264 pages, 20 illus., 2 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-760-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 2010)

ISBN  978-0-85745-903-9 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (December 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-661-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


This is a well-written and rewarding book which offers an intriguing insight not only into the world of tour guides, but also into the kinship between anthropology and tour guiding. It will be of interest to anthropologists of tourism, as well as to those with an interest in the cultures of globalization and cosmopolitanism.  ·  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“Envisioning Eden summarises a number of major scholarly discussions, brings them into a fruitful dialogue with ethnographic details, and provides a theoretical roadmap for further investigations of various kinds of mobility and encounters with cultural Others. This volume is highly recommended for students and scholars interested in tourism, globalization, and mobility studies, as well as for scholars with a regional focus on Indonesia or Tanzania.”  ·  Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

"Salazar’s study provides an interesting, innovative and fresh approach to local-to-global dynamics. The strength of the book is its richness in terms of theoretical thinking; Salazar manages to address complex issues in an engaging way and the book contributes much to the theoretical discussions which it tackles"  ·  Ethnos

It is a well written book, surprisingly easy to follow, it might attract readers from outside the tourism research community and possibly from outside academia. Using a lot of travel metaphors, playing with words according to the subject makes a linguistically attractive text.  ·  Anthropos

[This volume] it is arguably the best ethnography of tour guide training and performance available, certainly in the context of less-developed nations…This is a very well-written book and, like all good guides, Salazar uses storytelling well to convey his arguments to the reader. The volume is also well illustrated with the author’s own photographs…Salazar draws upon a raft of new theoretical material and research to inform his perspectives, which provides for solid analysis, stimulating discussion and a good springboard for researchers looking to explore similar themes. The writing also benefits from his rigorous fieldwork and own personal experiences. Salazar brings a passion to his work, which makes for an interesting and valuable contribution[Edward Bruner’s foreword is] an unexpected delight.”  ·  International Journal of Heritage Studies

 “[The book] offers a very compelling insight into how tourism imaginaries have become global …It makes a very significant contribution to the study of tourism, particularly in terms of the relatively understudied role of guides in the circulation of ‘national’ and ‘international’ imaginaries. I strongly recommend this book to scholars across all academic disciplines who are interested in the intricacies of tourism imaginaries and their interaction with ‘glocal’ forces. This book will encourage them to look further into this area from their own disciplinary platform.”  ·  Journal of Heritage Tourism

"Salazar is an anthropologist... The central themes of his argument involve explorations of 'glocalization' and the creation and manipulation of 'imaginaries', a particularly valuable and exportable interdisciplinary concept... The author moves beyond his own comfort zones, and generally there is much to be learned from his meticulous research and exposition... [T]here is a great deal here to inform and stimulate."  ·  New Global Studies

"The strength of this work lies in the close following of apprentice tour guides and the attempt to capture their appropriation of apparently universal tourist fantasies in narrative frames... the exploration of tour guides as a paradigm for a glocal imperative."  ·  H-Net Reviews

"I am very impressed with this book. It is the best ethnography of tour guide training and performance to date. Indeed its probing analyses and its many comments make a great contribution to our understanding of contemporary international and intercultural tourism. It is very well written and superbly referenced."  ·  Nelson Graburn, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

"This is a lively and enjoyable book based on rigorous research which highlights the power and persuasiveness of international tourism while, at the same time, critically, it reminds us that tourism is ultimately about people and their stories."  ·  Mike Robinson, Director, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change

"This book is the reference for tourism imaginaries academia was waiting for. Based on excellent ethnographic work that disentangles 'glocal' issues, it demonstrates that globalization divides the planet as much as bringing it together. Tourism and the encounters it generates are pertinently analyzed as central pieces of the new anthropology of glocalization."   ·  Maria Gravari-Barbas, Director IREST, UNESCO Chair: Culture-Tourism-Development

"Noel Salazar's contribution to understanding globalization and localization processes is informed and persuasive, using tourism-the phenomenon which has turned our world into a global village-to illuminate, par excellence, the resulting intersects, overlaps, and especially clashes now dominating our shared history."  ·  Jafar Jafari, Founding Editor, Annals of Tourism Research

"...a clear, well-organized interesting piece of original research on two exceptionally interesting and productively comparable destinations. It is well placed within the tourism studies literature."   ·  Sally Ann Ness, Professor, University of California, Riverside


As tourism service standards become more homogeneous, travel destinations worldwide are conforming yet still trying to maintain, or even increase, their distinctiveness. Based on more than two years of fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Arusha, Tanzania, this book offers an in-depth investigation of the local-to-global dynamics of contemporary tourism. Each destination offers examples that illustrate how tour guide narratives and practices are informed by widely circulating imaginaries of the past as well as personal imaginings of the future.

Noel B. Salazar received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and is Research Professor in Anthropology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. His research interests include anthropologies of mobility and travel, the local–global nexus, discourses and imaginaries of Otherness, culture contacts, heritage, and cosmopolitanism.

Subject: Travel and TourismAnthropology (General)


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