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The first edited collection of its kind, Being Elsewhere focuses on the history of tourism in Europe and North America from the early nineteenth century. The volume brings together new scholarship that explores tourism's significance to such major historical developments as class formation, political mobilization, the tensions between nation-building and regional development, and the power of mass consumer culture.
The essays focus on the ways in which tourism and vacations have been historically constitutive of class, social status, and collective identities. Explorations into the history of tourism and vacations reveal their importance for constructing modern cultural meanings of experience, desire, visuality, mobility, and the care of the self, as well as for representing the "good life" and the benefits of consumerism. A major contribution of this book is to demonstrate tourism's importance for nation-building, whether by mobilizing mass consent through state-sponsored leisure organizations, granting paid vacations as a right of citizenship, or creating new tourist sites meant to signify the "essence" of the nation.
Providing historical context and geographical specificity to a subject that has long engaged sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and literary theorists, but rarely historians, Being Elsewhere is exactly the collection to interest historians, social scientists, and scholars of literary and cultural studies.
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