Tourism Studies and The Contagions Of Conformity: The Wilful Contagions Of Our Own Backyard

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:55 AM
Room: 423
Oral Presentation
Keith HOLLINSHEAD , Marketing, Tourism, and Hospitality Studies, University of Bedfordshire: England, Luton, England
In 2011, Heffernan produced Wilful Blindness, a text inspecting "why we [in our institutions] ignore the obvious, at our peril" as she examined the structures of both our brains and our institutions to see why we --- within our instrumentalities / corporations / organisations --- act with such sustained blindness and such deliberate indifferance to what outsiders deem to be very large, important, or crucial matters. Thus, Heffernan's "security of institutional connivance and organisational silence" will be distilled to generate discussion amongst RC50 delegates to critique what forms of groupthink blindnesses / wilful ignorances / under-recognised abnegations might indeed characterise 'Tourism Studies' / as a disciplining institution.

In this Heffernanian light, Tourism Studies will be dissected to reveal (from the presenter's own working experience in Europe, Australasia, North America, and Asia) the sorts of structural blindnesses that have cultivated regular forms of group derangement within the field.  In offering just three of these areas of mutually reinforcive (and, sadly, restrictive) conformity, Tourism Studies will be posited as a domain that:

* is intrinsically interdisciplinary, yet offers so few bona fide interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary / transdisciplinary investigations;

* fundamentally deals with the image of places and spaces, yet rarely codifies any such mix of symbolic (or representational) impacts as it coterminously plays habitual homage to long-established economic, cultural, social, political, and environmental impacts;

* is seemingly a creative industry which selects, produces, and projects 'differences' about peoples / places / pasts, yet which has only the poorest of connections with other lead creative / inscriptive industries such as film / the media / the arts.

In summary, RC50 delegates will be asked to reflect (i) upon the the field's conceivable 'purblind addiction to received procedure'; and, (ii) upon their own individual willing subservience to such forms of unquestioned / unthought praxis.