Dark Tourism as a Form of Governmentality of Fear

Dark Tourism as a Form of Governmentality of Fear

Funda Çoban (Aksaray University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2750-3.ch007
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Although dark tourism attracts many scholars from different backgrounds, there is no consensus about its definition. Yet still, it is possible to classify the discussions revolving around the definition issue: The first group focuses on the descriptive side of dark tourism in terms of “sudden death and disaster,” while a second group gives priority to the existential dimension of the dark touristic interest in terms of “never-ending death and disaster.” However, fear appears as a surrounding component of both approaches. At that point, this study questions the relationship between the rise of dark touristic interest since the 1990s and the notion of governmentality of fear. In this respect, the study attempts to make bridge between the existential context of dark tourism and its political dimension with the Foucauldian terms, especially by shedding light on dark tourism in terms of “biopower technology.”
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Understanding Dark Tourism Within The Literature

One of the most important problems that humankind is desperate for, is fear of death and the death itself. War, famine, outbreaks, natural disaster etc. are some cases that make this desperation collectively real. In other words, any kind of disaster - natural or human-made-, causing people to suffer brings about a social/collective respond originating from the individual fears. The collective rituals to eradicate plague in the Middle Ages, the taboo objects and the sacred places are some examples of these kinds of societal reflections. However, the response of the 20th century Western people to such fears has gained a very commercial dimension, along with the traces of the previous periods. The name of this dimension is dark tourism.

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