In 2008 I enrolled in a PhD in the Department of Anthropology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. After a 30-year career in journalism I was looking for an opportunity to pursue research interests in depth and without the demands of short-term deadlines. An academic environment offered me that opportunity. Following the completion of … More Why?
The title of the first chapter in Sharon Gmelch’s book, Tourists and Tourism, is “Why Tourism Matters” (Gmelch 2010:3). In the first sentence of her first chapter Gmelch describes how she became interested in tourism while directing an anthropological field school in Barbados, where she noted the “impact of tourism was visible everywhere” (ibid:3). If … More Chapter 1 – Introduction
In his 1977 analysis of the commodification of culture Davydd Greenwood relied on Geertz to establish a working definition of culture (Smith 1989:173). I have chosen to do the same. In articulating his position Geertz wrote “Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, … More Chapter 2 – Theory and Method
In the early 1970’s travelers who arrived in St. John’s by plane were greeted at the airport’s exit by a sign that said, “Welcome to St. John’s. Capital City of Britain’s Oldest Colony.” I had been raised in a culture whose national myth celebrated independence from Britain and at the time it struck me as … More Chapter 3 – Research Setting
In 1967 John Perlin, the 32-year-old son of an upper class St. John’s family, was hired to manage the newly-built Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s. He would later manage five other Arts and Culture Centres which were eventually built in the province. As the province’s first Director of Cultural Affairs John Perlin … More Chapter 4 -Evolution of Cultutal Policy
In January, 2006 the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador launched a new tourism advertising campaign called Find Yourself or sometimes called Find Yourself Here. During the 2011 Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador tourist industry association annual meeting the delegates gave the Minister of Tourism two standing ovations. First, they applauded his announcement of a record number … More Chapter 5 – Selling and Buying Newfoundland
The Invention of a Newfoundland Tradition In October, 2010 Myrle Vokey conducted a Screech-In ceremony at a reception following the marriage a young woman from Newfoundland and a young man from Ontario. The wedding reception was being held at a hotel in St. John’s and Vokey was hired to stage the initiation ritual as … More Chapter 6 -The Screech-In Ceremony
The notion of a “tourist gaze” (Urry 1990) where “tourists wield power through the way they look at locals and expect them to appear and behave” and “locals acquiesce to the gaze by mirroring back images they hope will please tourists” (Stronza 2001:271) has drawn the attention of several researchers. Rothman, for example, commenting … More Chapter 7 – Conclusion