Tourists at the Taj: Performance and Meaning at a Symbolic Site

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Overview

The Taj Mahal has long been a subject for photography and poetry, but this book presents the first sociological analysis of the Taj as a cultural phenomenon. Tim Edensor examines the conflicting narratives which surround the site: postcolonial views of the monument as a

symbol of love, of India and of splendid exuberance; and those which challenge this ethnocentricity, for whom the Taj is the symbolic center of Islamic power or a site of Moghul appropriation. He discusses many of the tourist practices around the Taj and considers the notion of tourism

in a wider context. Clearly written and fascinatingly illustrated, this book describes tourism as "performance" and the tourist site as a "stage" on which tourists are directed and rehearsed, improvising cultural conventions in the complex production of leisure space.

--Frank J. Korom, Boston Univ. for Religious Studies Review

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Edensor cultural studies, Staffordshire U. attempts to sidestep the ethnocentric, functionalist, and over-generalized concepts present in most theories of tourism by portraying a range of culturally situated tourist narratives and performances e.g. narration, walking, gazing, photographing, and remembering. He shows that tourism is a continually changing set of processes. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Constructing tourist space 10
2 The regulation of tourist space 41
3 Narratives of the Taj Mahal 69
4 Walking, gazing, photographing and remembering at the Taj 105
5 Enclavic and heterogenous tourist spaces in Agra 149
6 Tourist plans for Agra and the Taj 181
7 Conclusion 200
Bibliography 205
Index 215
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