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MacCannell, Dean. The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. New York: Schocken Books, 1976.
MacCannell uses the tourist as a model to describe the condition of "modern man." He argues that tourism is a kind of resistance to the development of modernism, a failed attempt to subvert alienation which ultimately succeeds in confirming it; when modern peoples seek reality in other periods and cultures, they reaffirm the alienation from their own. (He explains, for example, that tourists are usually criticized for their superficial understanding of other people and places, implying that they don't see thing the way they "ought" to be seen.) He links tourism, especially international tourism and sightseeing, to the expansion of modernity and the "alienating" blurring of the lines between work and leisure. MacCannell relies heavily on theory--structuralism, Marxism, and semiotics, to name a few--but presents his arguments in a sufficiently concise and organized way as to avoid overburdening the reader with jargon. [C. Rector]