Palma, from 23 to 25 October 2013
Celebrating and Enhancing the Tourism
Knowledge-based Platform: A Tribute to Jafar Jafari


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General programme, activity sheet

Friday 25 October, 2013 14:40 to 15:00 Oral Communication
Jafar Jafari - a modest leader expanding the frontiers of knowledge.
Speaker: Nelson Graburn, University of Berkeley

Authors: Nelson Graburn


This paper emphasizes the earlier career of Jafar Jafari. It intertwines the expansion of Jafar's own interests with the expansion of academic research frontiers, emphasizing that without the self-confidence to expand his own interests and core career foci, Jafari would not have expanded the research frontiers from which we all benefit (which have contributed in equal measure to tourism research paradigms and to tourism education as well). Key frontiers in Jafar's life which have indirectly or directly expanded our research frontiers include: training and employment as an English-speaking tour guide in the beautiful city of Isfahan . Later Jafar took up the challenge of moving to the United States (via France) for further education after the encouragement of two tourists he guided, anthropologists Margaret Mead and her husband, Gregory Bateson . But rather than going straight into anthropology, he entered Cornell Hotel School for his bachelors and masters degrees. There, instead of focusing on a career in the industry he broke ground but studying the impact of tourism on Third World. While there he again broke ground by starting the periodical Annals of Tourism Research (1973) which was at first somewhat industry oriented, containing advertising from airlines and travel companies. Jafar moved to expand his and our frontiers again by attending the American Anthropological Association’s meeting in San Francisco in 1975, and coming to introduce himself to Valene Smith and anthropology who had organized the second panel on the Anthropology of Tourism . This expanded Jafari’s purview of the disciplines through which to conduct and publish research on tourism, leading to Jafar’s own doctorate (1985) in this discipline and the expansion of research and subsequent publication in Annals not only in anthropology but all the other social sciences including many that bore little relationship to the needs of the industry. This multidisciplinary and later multinational expansion led Jafar to found the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (1989). Its first plenary meeting, in Zakopane, Poland in fall 1989, was preceded that spring by Jafari’s visit to the National Museum of Anthropology (Minpaku) in Osaka, for consultation with Prof. Shuzo Ishimori who was at that time trying to introduce the anthropological study of tourism in Japan . Ishimori was invited to join the Academy and participated in the Zakopane meetings, but ultimately choose not to join. This same year Jafar cemented the now received wisdom that tourism research should be multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary. He proposed a special issue of Annals, “Tourism Social Science” (1991) and asked the two editors of each of the ten social science disciplines to submit chapters on their discipline’s foci and contribution, while the editors, Graburn and Jafari, examined these contributions and went further by looking for cross-disciplinary methodologies and research topics.
Further information:

Submited paper (19 KB)

Session 6 – Research development and Jafar Jafari
Place: Main Room

Other activities in Session 6 – Research development and Jafar Jafari
14:00 h. to 14:20 h.Oral Communication

Thematic analysis of tourism research in leading tourism journals

Speaker: Iris Regina Cabral, Universidade do Algarve
Speaker: João  Albino Silva, University of Algarve, Portugal
14:20 h. to 14:40 h.Oral Communication

Destination evolution and network dynamics: A new research agenda

Speaker: Sven A. Haugland, NHH Norwegian School of Economics