Researching indigenous and marginal peoples – Introduction
Chris Ryan (2012), Researching indigenous and marginal peoples – Introduction, in K. F. Hyde, C. Ryan & A.G. Woodside (eds.) Field Guide to Case Study Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure (Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Volume 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.411-415.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7313
Those promoting tourism often seek to highlight that which is unique about their destinations in order to attract tourists. Many countries have beautiful landscapes, rich histories and heritage, and the tourist may come to see linkages of landscape and history across different countries and indeed possibly across continents. However, in the search for the unique, those countries with ethnic minority or other minority groups demarcated by factors other than ethnicity but characterised by special belief systems or ways of life living within their borders (e.g. the Amish) are truly able to offer the tourist a glimpse of something that will not be found in other parts of the world. Accordingly, and being aware that holiday makers are not lay anthropologists and may be seeking little more than an entertainment, minorities and their culture have become in many places a staged show based primarily on song and dance. Indeed, such has been the process that Xie (2011, p. 196) provides an example from the island of Hainan, China, where tourism promoters have created ‘the authentic Chiyou tribe’ to entertain tourists – a tribe developed purely for entertainment based on concepts of the exotic and primitive and only loosely based on the culture of the native Li people. One partial result described by Xie (2011) has been that the Li themselves have become confused as to their own culture.
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