Projects of scale-making: New perspectives for the anthropology of tourism
Authors: Neveling, P. and Wergin, C.
Scale has recently entered social anthropology as both a unit of analysis and a heuristic tool. This paper highlights the applicability to the anthropology of tourism of what has been identified as "projects of scale-making" by Tsing (2000) and respective "modes of incorporation" by Glick Schiller, Caglar and Guldbrandsen (2006). Because tourism is one of the central industries shaping present-day understandings of what is global and what is local, scale as a theoretical and methodological tool is ideally suited to study this field. Central concerns of anthropological research on tourism, such as the industry's political economy, its influence on the perception of landscapes and culture as well as the problematic notion of authenticity, are reconsidered. We argue that central shortcomings of the globalisation debate, such as a teleologically-minded futurism, euphemistic notions of economic circulation and conflations of mundane and scientific debates, shape both the tourism industry and too many anthropological studies on tourism. In light of the contributions collected in this dossier this paper instead develops an analytical framework that highlights the hidden relations of production in tourism economies and the impacts of projects of scale-making on the construction of landscapes and culture. © CRIA.