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

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Psychology Press, 1998 - History - 223 pages
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This text presents a sociological analysis of the cultural phenomenon, the Taj Mahal. The author describes the conflicting narratives which surround the site; those which remain rooted in Western post-colonialism, viewing 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 centre of Islamic power or a site of Moghul appropriation. It goes on to describe many of the tourist practices around the Taj as well as considering the notion of tourism in a wider context. It concludes with the idea of tourism as performance and the tourist site as a stage on which tourists are directed and rehearsed as well as being able to improvize cultural conventions, all in the complex production of leisure space.
 

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Contents

Constructing tourist space
10
The regulation of tourist space
41
Narratives of the Taj Mahal
69
Walking gazing photographing and remembering at the Taj
105
Enclavic and heterogenous tourist spaces in Agra
149
Tourist plans for Agra and the Taj
181
Conclusion
200
Bibliography
205
Index
215
Copyright

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Page vi - Henceforth, let the inhabitants of the world be divided into two classes — them as has seen the Taj Mahal ; and them as hasn't.

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About the author (1998)

Tim Edensor is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies, at the Staffordshire University.

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