Tour Guides as Cultural Mediators: Performance and Positioning

Jonathan Skinner, Jackie Feldman

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Abstract

This special issue devotes comparative and ethnographic attention to the topic of the tour guide as cultural mediator. Based on studies in a panoply of countries (UK, Israel, Peru, Cuba, Reunion, Germany) and sites (museums, pilgrimages, casual street-guiding, mountain treks, folkloric displays), we demonstrate how various settings, power relations, and tourist gazes enable or constrain intercultural guiding performances. Tour guides embody a wide range of roles, cultures and positions on the tourism stage. Their presentation of 'their' culture to others carries a certain authority and implicates them in positions towards aspects of their own culture and those of the tourists that they may come to acknowledge, appreciate or resist over time. Thus, approaching tour guides as cultural mediators offers new insights into the anthropology of tourism and cultural contact as a whole.

© 2018, Museum Tusculanum Press. The attached document (embargoed until 31/12/2019) is an author produced version of a paper published in ETHNOLOGIA EUROPAEA: JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN ETHNOLOGY uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnologia Europaea: Journal of European Ethnology
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

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