Worldmaking and domestic tourists: critical insights from philosophical hermeneutics
Jacobsen, D 2016, 'Worldmaking and domestic tourists: critical insights from philosophical hermeneutics', Tourism Analysis, vol. 21, no. 2-3, pp. 309-324.
This review article raises insights into domestic tourism that deserve earnest attention from conceptualists and practitioners in Tourism Studies/Tourism Management (hereafter Tourism Studies). In it, Jacobsen critiques the movement in Tourism Studies, which is described by Hollinshead as worldmaking and which is indicative of the shift toward critical inquiry into the sociopolitical nature of tourism and travel. Jacobsen considers that the notion of (and practice of) worldmaking highlights the globalized nature of tourism that must be considered in relation to the complex place-specific processes of production. However, Jacobsen critically argues in this review article that the range of sociopolitical agencies illuminated via a worldmaking approach is an overinternationalized one and is therefore stifled by a presupposition that can obscure the conceptualization of, and therefore inquiry into, domestic tourism. In this light, Jacobsen maintains that this undersuspected presupposition relates to the construction of existential tourist being as “a place relation” that commences from “rupture.” He attempts to remedy this constrained Tourism Studies thinking by drawing on Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics—in support of Caton's recent call (within this journal) for more informed reflections on Gadamerian interpretations of “tourism.” Following Gadamer's insistence on the extent to which historical influence conditions the present, Jacobsen assigns “historicity" to touristhood in a move embracing the view that tourist being commonly implicates relations to place that actually precede the act of or experience in tourism. In examining the advocations that worldmaking is a helpful working conceptualization that can potentially and incrementally envision/reenvision tourism as a facilitator for genuine dialogue between disparate peoples, Jacobsen seeks to recast received considerations about “tourist being,” ipso facto. Yet, Jacobsen's review article suggests that this potential for tourism to provide settings to contend with seemingly irreconcilable difference in the world is problematic, especially in regard to Heideggerian understandings about the inauthenticities of our time and the historically conditioned links between domestic tourists and place. Overall, this review article proposes that philosophical hermeneutics can indeed provide crucial insights that extend what he sees as Hollinshead's ideas beyond current thresholds of thinking about worldmaking to open up new even further and fresher awarenesses of and about emancipated being, or rather of “being through tourism.”