Consumer Culture and Society offers an introduction to the study of consumerism and mass consumption from a sociological perspective. It examines what we buy, how and where we consume, the meanings attached to the things we purchase, and the social forces that enable and constrain consumer behavior. Opening chapters provide a theoretical overview and history of consumer society and featured case studies look at mass consumption in familiar contexts, such as tourism, food, and higher education. The book explores ethical and political concerns, including consumer activism, indebtedness, alternative forms of consumption, and dilemmas surrounding the globalization of consumer culture.
Chapter 6: Tourism
Tourism is the world’s largest industry, with just over 1 billion travelers generating $1.4 trillion (U.S.) export earnings in 2013. The majority of tourists (52%) travel to enjoy leisure time, but others (27%) travel to visit family and friends, make a religious pilgrimage, or receive health treatments (The World Tourism Organization 2014). Even though tourism is often thought of as a pleasurable way to escape the routines of our everyday lives, it would be remiss to ignore all of the work that goes into taking a vacation. In the words of Zygmunt Bauman, “There are many hardships one needs to suffer for the sake of tourist freedoms” (1989:98). Planning where to visit, waiting at the airport for a delayed plane, walking for ...