Behind the Smile: The Working Lives of Caribbean Tourism
Indiana University Press, 2003 - Social Science - 211 pages
Annotation "Behind the Smile is an inside look at the world of Caribbean tourism as seen through the working lives of 21 men and women who work in the tourist industry in Barbados. The workers come from every level of tourism, from maid to hotel manager, beach gigolo to taxi driver, red cap to diving instructor. Moving through the various sites in which "hosts" and "guests" meet--airport, hotel, beach, and tourist attractions--highly personal accounts offer insight into complex questions surrounding tourism. The narratives touch on issues such as how race shapes interactions between tourists and workers, how tourists may become agents of cultural change, the meaning of sexual encounters between locals and tourists, and the real economic and ecological costs of development through tourism. George Gmelch offers an engaging introduction to the history of tourism in the Caribbean and recent research on tourism, development, and cross-cultural communication. This lively book will intrigue students, scholars, andall readers interested in the social and cultural aspects of travel.
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Behind the smile: the working lives of Caribbean tourismUser Review - Book Verdict
Building on his experience writing about Caribbean migrants and Barbados history and culture, Union College anthropology professor Gmelch presents an intriguing, but ultimately cursory, look at the world of Caribbean tourism. He profiles 20 men and women who work in Barbados's tourism industry, from maids and hotel managers to taxi drivers and diving instructors. By doing so, Gmelch finds answers to some questions about how tourism workers view their clients' affluent lifestyle, moral character and pursuit of leisure. Rather than drawing conclusions (or even commenting on his findings) however, the author prefers to let his subjects speak for themselves. For example, Gmelch makes no commentary about hotel water sports supervisor Zerphyl Greaves's belief that"sometimes you get the feeling that maybe they tourists don't like you because you're a different color.... Sometimes you hear comments like, 'These black people don't really know how to do things right.'" Nonetheless, despite its lack of comprehensive analysis, this wide-reaching study provides a useful document about how Caribbean residents feel about the many visitors to their islands.
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George Gmelch (ba, Stanford and Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara) is a cultural anthropologist. He did his early research in Ireland among a ...
www.anthropology.union.edu/ Faculty_Pages/ ggmelch1.htm
Behind the Smile: The Working Lives of Caribbean Tourism. By George Gmelch. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003. Pp. x, 211. Illustrations. Maps. ...
muse.jhu.edu/ journals/ the_americas/ v062/ 62.4stronza.pdf
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