Chapter 1: Introduction Next Chapter

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Tourism is increasingly the centre of popular and policy discourses. It is both demonized and idealized, as a destroyer and a creator, whether of valued environments, social and cultural practices, or wealth. One of the roles of tourism researchers should be to provide a greater understanding of the underlying processes that shape the emerging tourism landscape. We have argued elsewhere (Shaw and Williams 2002) that such research has at best been uneven, and at worst has failed to respond to these challenges. Although there are a growing number of exceptions, tourism research is still often descriptive, atheoretical, and chaotically conceptualized in being abstracted from broader social relationships. The task of remedying these deficiencies lies beyond the scope of this, or probably any other, book. ...

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