In the contemporary world, tourism is often the foremost, and only, process that brings together people from different parts of the world, allowing those from the "West" and those from the "Third World" to interact on a face-to-face basis under peaceful, if not always equal, circumstances. As such, tourism as a phenomenon and as a process raises questions about global interconnections and global movements of finance, cultural and material artifacts, ideas, and people across national and cultural boundaries. This course addresses a wide range of issues, including the economic, social, and cultural implications of tourism, the impact of global tourism on the environment and global conservation efforts, and tourism as a vehicle of social change and as a facilitator of cultural and material globalization. The issues covered in this course relate to everyday processes and events - especially the taken-for-granted process of travel itself. Specific topics to be covered include the sociology of tourism, sustainable development, global inequality, cultural adaptation, Third World economic development, the creation and marketing of tourist images, the advent of "alternative" forms of tourism, the search for authenticity, and ecotourism. The course focuses largely on examples and case studies from Southeast Asia, with the inclusion of some primary materials from field research conducted in Thailand.
Prerequisites: IPE 201 or any 200-level SOAN course.