Beyond the Field Trip: Teaching Tourism through Tours
2009. Teaching Sociology 37(2):136-150. With George Sanders.
A course in the sociology of tourism offers an opportunity to examine a world-transforming force that is penetrating more and more aspects of social life. It also offers an opportunity to create a learning environment that uses the object of study as the medium of study. This article examines how instructors can use tourism to teach the sociology of tourism, and thereby help students develop an understanding of the subject matter through reflexive examination of classroom practice. Drawing on research in the sociology of tourism, it outlines a conceptual framework for thinking about tourism as a spatial practice that includes semiotic, interpersonal and cultural dimensions. Through examples, it shows how these dimensions can be synthesized into a pedagogical strategy that uses field trips and classroom learning to teach the sociology of tourism. The article addresses logistical and conceptual issues involved in course planning and implementation.