Review of Tourism, Ethnic Diversity and the City
Shaul Kelner. 2008. Contemporary Sociology 37(1):80-81
From the review: “Integrating disparate literatures on tourism, postindustrial cities, global migration and cultural commoditization, C. Michal Hall and Jan Rath’s opening chapter lays out a straightforward thesis…. Like the Little Italys and Chinatowns which drew tourists a century ago, new immigrant neighborhoods are being promoted as tourist destinations. If the strategy works as intended, it not only increases tourism revenues for the city and infuses money into the immigrant communities themselves, it creates a general aura of cosmopolitanism which can attract investors and residents.
It seems so intuitively appealing. Rather than a nativist backlash, we have a celebration of the diversity immigrants bring. Alas, the remainder of the volume turns on the question of how and why it does not quite work out this way in practice. Here, the strength of the book is revealed. Rath dangles before us a deceptively cogent storyline, and once he has sparked our imagination he forces us to recognize the contradictions and contestations that make this a story of winners and losers, surprising successes and near misses.”