What is it about?

Taking the informal tourism sector in India as a case study, this article demonstrates ethnographically that dichotomous classifications often taken for granted when conceptualizing human mobilities are undermined in people’s everyday practices. One of them is the binary between mobile cosmopolitan tourists (“guests” from the Global North) and local “hosts” (i.e. service providers from the Global South), who are denied the right to be mobile.

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Why is it important?

The aim of the article is to overcome these outdated anthropological conceptualizations of the sedentary Other, based on ethnological naturalism and currently reproduced in the tourism marketing, in the context of global mobility regimes. The article shows that a high level of mobility is not only an attribute of tourists, but it also characterizes the “locals,” who work in the informal tourism sector in India. It also reveals the multiple ways that various forms of people’s spatial mobility – such as tourism and migration – intersect.

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This page is a summary of: Beyond a sedentary Other and a mobile tourist: Transgressing mobility categories in the informal tourism sector in India, Critique of Anthropology, February 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0308275x20908302.
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