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Situating the tourist gaze: from appropriation to negotiation
R. Bandyopadhyay,
Published in Routledge
Volume: 21
Issue: 6
Pages: 599 - 615
For decades, scholars have emphasized the power of the Western tourist gaze to construct Third World destinations as the ‘Exotic Other'. Scholars have also shown that ‘Third World’ tourism fuelled by media fantasies of the Other represents neo-colonization in the twenty-first century. However, considering all its intentions/claims of impartiality, tourism research has generally travelled in only one direction (from the West to the East). In this study, conducted in Goa and Puducherry, focusing on the social contexts in which people are viewed and photographed, we ask–what do the ‘Third World’ people think of Westerners gazing at them, and their surroundings? How do Western tourists react when photographed by domestic tourists? What are the power relations within which the photographer and the photographed are located? We recognize that no simplistic analyses are possible in the postcolonial context. Directing a critical lens at the tourist gaze, this essay moves from an understanding of the gaze as appropriating to that of the gaze as negotiated. © 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
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