|General programme, activity sheet|
||Friday 25 October, 2013 12:00 to 12:20
The production of a peculiar chronotope: Power relations in tourism contexts.Speaker: Antonio Miguel Nogués-Pedregal, Universitas Miguel Hernández
Authors: Antonio Miguel Nogués-Pedregal
The production of a peculiar chronotope: Power relations in tourism contexts. By Antonio Miguel Nogués-Pedregal (Universitas Miguel Hernández - Spain)
Abstract (731 words)
Tourism can be regarded as one of the ‘names’ of power. In order to comprehend cultural and social processes in tourism contexts from a dialogical perspective, the author applies the notion of ‘chronotope’ as a metaphorical axis around which daily practices happen in tourism contexts. Among the many key Bakhtinian concepts (for instance, heteroglossia, polyphony or carnivalesque) that of chronotope (time-space) seems quite relevant and suitable to understand what is known as tourism. ‘Chronotope’ is the term taken over by Bakhtin to describe the manner in which in literary texts “happen the meeting of spatial and temporal elements into an intelligible and specific whole” (Bakhtin, 1989) forming a matrix that organises narratives in the text. Accordingly, in different types of texts there are different chronotopes through which Desire of experiencing difference away from everyday reality (cf. Potter's notion of out-there-ness as used by Elands & Lengkeek, 2000). This ‘attraction for variance’ or diaphorotropism (diaphora = distinction, difference, variance, trope = move towards or away from a stimulus) occurs within the frame of a distinctive tourism chronotope with particular attributes and characteristics that are to be examined in the paper.
Whilst analysing this peculiar type of diaphorotropism that induces different degrees, or experiential ‘distances’ (as called by Elands & Lengkeek), of travelling away from everyday life, researchers using qualitative inductive approaches are challenged with, at least, two sets “of spatial and temporal elements”: that of the visitors and that of the locals: that of the world of desires, expectations and longings at/for destinations, and that of ‘real-lives’ at places: that of ‘the world about which we talk’, that is, the world of the linguistic production, and that of ‘the world in/from which we talk’, where speaker and listener share the same chronotope (cf. García Calvo quoted in Mandly Robles, 1996). These sets of spatio-temporal elements array the conditions that “enable the production of a common and sensible world, of a world of common sense” according to an identifiable principium divisionis (Bourdieu, 2006). However, both will be expressed in different rhythms and memories, and are to be spatialised in blurred but, somehow, complementary territories.
To explain the production of this tourism chronotope, the author dissolves the problem of the theoretical relation between tourism and power by centring the efforts in the ethnographic descriptions of three of the main features of capitalism in tourism contexts analyzed in this paper. First, tourism is a distinctive form of moving capital, peoples, and information that generates new social relations (of production and reproduction) marked by the speed and intensity of global flows, including the exchange of both tangible and intangible goods. Second, the inherent spatial dimension of tourism provokes a particular international division of labour among territories that, in turn, encourages transnational mobilities and residencies (i.e. non-EU workers and northern Europeans retirees in many Mediterranean countries). Third, this latter brings up a diversity of socio-cultural encounters, new modes of experiencing Otherness and, consequently, of constructing cultural identity. All the ethnographic examples included in the paper illustrate the dialogical conversion of the rules of ancient sociability to the anonymous laws of the tourism market, and how this conversion— according to the hypothesis of the mediation through tourism space—has produced new forms of sociability among groups as well as created new modes of relating to each person’s own collective memories. Broadly speaking, the examples describe the spheres where social practices are demarcated and named. Then, it is discussed the particular ways in which the hegemonized social groups manage and arrange these practices according to their interests and with the compliance of other groups.
The findings show that to study cultural processes in tourism contexts, researches cannot rely only upon the usual semiological analysis of seduction through desires but on a dialogical perspective that closely considers how chronotopic elements are used and appropriated by agents. For instance, in the Costa Blanca, most residential tourists had previously visited the area as regular tourists, and the motives underlying the permanent migration are related with the same factors of attraction for tourism destination for holiday-making. The analysis shows not only that what one group call ‘home’ other call it ‘destination’, but also that the destination might become something even better than home for some tourists. Finally, it is stated how these arrangements of words and things help one to understand the dynamics of societies and cultures in tourism contexts.Session 5 – Ontologies, epistemologies and disciplinarity (5)
Place: Main Room