Banalizing the Alterity: When Suffering Turns Attractive

Banalizing the Alterity: When Suffering Turns Attractive

Maximiliano E. Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina) and Lourdes Cisneros Mustelier (Universidad de la Habana, Cuba)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2750-3.ch010
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This chapter discusses the problem of poverty as something finely integrated in dark tourism. Though originally, both concepts sound very distant, no less true is that dark tourism and slum tourism are inextricably intertwined. Throughout this chapter review, we placed a hot debate on the role of globalization as a chief agent oriented to connect dissimilar economies into an all-encompassing system. The question whether tourism should be considered ethical or not still remains open. In days of Thana-Capitalism the suffering pivoted as the main commodity not only that helps structuring social institutions, but the necessary mediator between lay-people and their states.
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In the academy, the attention given to themes associated to development, sustainability and problems emerged from real estate speculations has reached a significant facet of maturation (Holden, 2003; Lea 1993; MacBeth, 2005; Kampaxi, 2008). However, over recent years some critical voices questioned to what extent tourism should be considered an ethical activity (Hultsman, 1995; Malloy & Fennell, 1998; Garrod & Fennell, 2004; Fennell, 2015). Starting from the premise that tourists only are in quest of pleasure-maximization, this raises the pungent question, what is the role of otherness in this hedonist behaviour?

Within philosophy, ethics are valorised as a form of enhancement which leads the self to progress. In tourism fields, for some reasons very hard to explain now, ethics was originally associated to the needs of protecting the interests of natives, or vulnerable agents as women, children. Ethics are commonly understood as the system of codes that promotes the correct conduct (Rushworth, 2003). While aboriginals have been historically debarred to live in conditions of poverty during years or occupying marginal position in main economy, no less true was that tourism offers a fertile ground to abandon poverty, slum accelerating the conditions for a fairer wealth distribution (Altman, 1989; Waitt, 1999; Korstanje, 2012).

Beyond European paternalism, which accompanied the inception and evolution of social anthropology, the fragility of local voices subrogates a sentiment of empathy from where tourism is rechanneled. This essay-review explores not only the ebbs and flows of ethics in tourism, but also the effects of neo-capitalism producing poverty worldwide. To be more exact, one of the promises of neoliberalism which is associated to the possibilities poor nations better their situation by embracing liberal trade, development and sustainability remain unchecked. In second terms under the quandary tourism is ethical or not, this chapter-review dissects the role of market and rationality as the main tenets of global consumption. Most likely, the fascination for others` pain derives from European Paternalism that accompanied not only the rise and expansion of colonialism, but also social sciences as well.

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