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Beyond the visual gaze? The pursuit of an embodied experience through food tourism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-358
Number of pages22
JournalTourist Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

King's Authors


Food tourism provides a conceptual vehicle for pursuing a more culturally aware tourism agenda. Findings from participant observation and in-depth tourist interviews visiting sites affiliated to two Scottish food tourism initiatives illustrate how analysis of such places can contribute to work on postmodern touristic consumptive activity and embodied experience. Food tourism research writes the body into tourism, thereby moving discourses away from dominant concepts of visualism towards non-representable forms of knowledge. However, the research also found that in order to meet an increasing demand for experiences that bring producer and consumer together, viewing windows are being installed at sites that sanitize the experience. Therefore, the concept of ‘new’ postmodern forms of tourism activity is problematized by addressing the implications surrounding this paradoxical situation of ‘post/modernity’; where a (post) tourist is encouraged to internalise a place through its food, yet is simultaneously subject to a form of regulated ‘tourist gaze’ reminiscent of more ‘Fordist’ and modernist modes of tourism experience.

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