Re-placing materiality

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Title Re-placing materiality: a western anthropology of sand
Author(s) Godfrey Baldacchino
Journal Annals of Tourism Research
Date 2010
Volume 37
Issue 3
Start page 763
End page 778
Abstract Sand has become such a powerful visual, emotive and experiential component of tourism. This essay ventures an ontological explanation for the Western world’s acquired and now gripping fascination with this particularly mundane material, and its robust current connection with the tourism industry. The paper argues that this engagement with sand’s materiality is a culturally determined response, an extension of an encounter with what is seen to be real, in the context of a contemporary experience that is increasingly given over to virtual objects and representations. An anthropology of sand—a conjunction of the cultural and material—with a particular focus on beach tourism, offers a complex, multi-layered experience where the real and the fictive are mutually constituted.
DOI 10.1016/j.annals.2010.02.005

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