Reading List: NUS SC2217 Sociology of Tourism

NUS SC2217 is the module for which my notes are most incomplete. The readings total about 70, though most of them were optional. Not that I adhered to the arbitrary classification; I read only those which caught my interest. While there is a certain messiness to the module, it does symbolize the inescapable sketchiness of ethnographic field notes.

Some of these notes still come to mind when I’m in another country.

In Penang, my family met a lone backpack traveller from China. She sought our help for directions—intentionally?—and my mother soon engaged her in conversation. We learned that she opted to stay in a Malay (or Peranakan?) hostel, and was months into her travels across multiple Southeast Asian nations.

As they chatted, Erik Cohen’s typology of tourists came to mind. I then engaged my sister in a separate conversation on what types we fit in. My family was behaving like individual mass tourists, whereas this Chinese girl was an explorer or drifter.

What a way to be a spoilsport while travelling!

But even though real people cannot be reduced to types, knowing these types can be useful starting points in rethinking how we perceive other people, and how we interact with them. On that front, this module has been worth it.

Sociology of Tourism

[Credit: Flickr]

Personal Faves of NUS SC2217

Ning Wang – Tourism and Modernity, Ch 1 (2000)

Erik Cohen – Toward a Sociology of International Tourism (1972)

Erik Cohen – A Phenomenology of Tourist Experiences (1979)

Judith Adler – Origins of Sightseeing (1989)

Andrew Causey – Hard Bargaining in Sumatra, Ch 5 & 6 (2003)

Other Highlights of NUS SC2217

Ning Wang – The Tourist as Peak Consumer (2002)

Nelson Graburn – Tourism: The Sacred Journey (1989)

Eugenia Peck – The Singaporean Tourist (1989)

Harng Luh Sin – Volunteer Tourism–“Involve Me and I Will Learn”? (2009)

John Urry – The Tourist Gaze (1990)

Nigel Morgan/Annette Pritchard – On Souvenirs and Metonymy: Narratives of Memory, Metaphor and Materiality (2005)

Ashlee Joyce – Reclaiming the Derive: The Tourist, The Souvenir, and the Search for the Utopic (2015)

Maribeth Erb – Gifts from the Other Side: Thresholds of Hospitality and Morality in an Eastern Indonesian Town (2013)

I took NUS SC2217 in AY14/15 Sem 2, under A/P Maribeth Erb, and was tutored by Ms Ambika.

Socio Empath

Hi, my name is Eugene. I am a Sociology graduate from the National University of Singapore. This blog is an invitation: To see our selves as colored by cultures, and to brighten the colors of our society. I seek to help you create freedom in everyday life, with empathy and the sociological imagination.

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