Tourists as Pilgrims: Commercial Fashioning of Transatlantic Politics

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Abstract

In this article, I ask how a site of history gets made into a successful tourist destination of a remembered past. I focus on a U.S. corporate-sponsored homeland tour to Senegal and the Gambia (the region of Roots) aimed toward commemorating sites especially momentous for African American tourists. Through the lens of global "scapes," I analyze the multiple aspects necessary to create and sustain this place of meaning. Of interest are the ways in which culture can be produced as a commodified object and, in the process, made available for ritual framing and reappropriation. [commodity culture, tourism, pilgrimage, identity formation ritual]

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