Take Me to My Paradise: Tourism and Nationalism in the British Virgin Islands

Overview


The British Virgin Islands (BVI) markets itself to international visitors as a paradise. But just whose paradise is it? Colleen Ballerino Cohen looks at the many players in the BVI tourism culture, from the tourists who leave their graffiti at beach bars that are popularized in song, to the waiters who serve them and the singers who entertain them.

Interweaving more than twenty years of field notes, Cohen provides a firsthand analysis of how tourism transformed the BVI from a ...

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Take Me to My Paradise: Tourism and Nationalism in the British Virgin Islands

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Overview


The British Virgin Islands (BVI) markets itself to international visitors as a paradise. But just whose paradise is it? Colleen Ballerino Cohen looks at the many players in the BVI tourism culture, from the tourists who leave their graffiti at beach bars that are popularized in song, to the waiters who serve them and the singers who entertain them.

Interweaving more than twenty years of field notes, Cohen provides a firsthand analysis of how tourism transformed the BVI from a small neglected British colony to a modern nation that competes in a global economic market. With its close reading of everything from advertisements to political manifestos and constitutional reforms, Take Me to My Paradise deepens our understanding of how nationalism develops hand-in-hand with tourism, and documents the uneven impact of economic prosperity upon different populations. We hear multiple voices, including immigrants working in a tourism economy, nationalists struggling to maintain some control, and the anthropologist trying to make sense of it all. The result is a richly detailed and accessible ethnography on the impact of tourism on a country that came into being as a tourist destination.

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Editorial Reviews

Clark University

"Take Me to My Paradise makes a genuine contribution to the growing literature on tourism and on those societies which have become economically reliant on international tourism . . . the nuanced observations and analytical revelations are fascinating."
— Cynthia Enloe

Journal of Anthropological Research

"The British Virgin Islands tourist industry has constructed a space that meets the Western expectation of a Caribbean paradise, and Cohen focuses on how this construction affects the people who live there. She skillfully accomplishes this demanding task. Packed with useful information, this book offers the novel incorporation of the author's raw field notes which add immediacy to the narrative and give the reader insight into the vagaries of anthropological fieldwork."

Clark University

"Take Me to My Paradise makes a genuine contribution to the growing literature on tourism and on those societies which have become economically reliant on international tourism . . . the nuanced observations and analytical revelations are fascinating."

— Cynthia Enloe

Journal of Anthropological Research

"The British Virgin Islands tourist industry has constructed a space that meets the Western expectation of a Caribbean paradise, and Cohen focuses on how this construction affects the people who live there. She skillfully accomplishes this demanding task. Packed with useful information, this book offers the novel incorporation of the author's raw field notes which add immediacy to the narrative and give the reader insight into the vagaries of anthropological fieldwork."
Clark University - Cynthia Enloe

"Take Me to My Paradise makes a genuine contribution to the growing literature on tourism and on those societies which have become economically reliant on international tourism . . . the nuanced observations and analytical revelations are fascinating."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813548098
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Colleen Ballerino Cohen is a professor of anthropology and women's studies at Vassar College. She has written several articles and has produced three ethnographic videos on BVI tourism, festivals, and musical culture.
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