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Going Abroad: How to Travel Like an Anthropologist

Overview

Increasingly students from the affluent countries are going abroad as part of their “educational experience.” Although students see these experiences as invaluable and believe that they have learned a lot, the anthropological literature suggests the opposite; that travel abroad has a greater impact on the hosts than on the visitors and that indeed travel abroad, far from leading to students becoming more open-minded or learning about the other, can reinforce their stereotypes. What student-travelers claim to have...

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Overview

Increasingly students from the affluent countries are going abroad as part of their “educational experience.” Although students see these experiences as invaluable and believe that they have learned a lot, the anthropological literature suggests the opposite; that travel abroad has a greater impact on the hosts than on the visitors and that indeed travel abroad, far from leading to students becoming more open-minded or learning about the other, can reinforce their stereotypes. What student-travelers claim to have learned turns out, on reflection, to be lessons about themselves— not about the sights and people they encountered but how they “survived.”

This short book is based on the assumption that travel only broadens the mind when one is predisposed to let it. It seeks to inculcate that state of mind that is amenable to learning from others. It is an anthropology of travel and the use of anthropology in travel. It combines philosophy of travel and analysis of travel with the nitty-gritty of how to get the most out of travel. It should be read by potential travelers prior to going abroad and then left at home. Perhaps the key lesson is to inculcate a sense of humility and how to grow through travel. Anthropologists have made a profession of going abroad. What lessons can one glean from the practice of anthropological fieldwork to make student or extended “budget” travel abroad a deeper learning experience?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594517716
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2010
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 799,252
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of several books including The Bushman Myth, and the co-edited Tarzan was an Eco-tourist, Rob Gordon has done field research in Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, and Papua New Guinea. He is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont and a Research Associate at the University of the Free State. An inveterate traveler, he enjoys hiking and kayaking.

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