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Palgrave Macmillan

Ecotourism and Cultural Production

An Anthropology of Indigenous Spaces in Ecuador

ISBN 9781137355379
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Ecotourism is a unique facet of globalization, promising the possibility of reconciling the juggernaut of neoliberal development with ecological and cultural conservation. This book offers an analysis of ecotourism using a case study of indigenous lowland Kichwa people of Ecuador and their interactions with global systems of valuation and exchange. The production of Kichwa culture takes place in a transnational social field, inhabited by tourists and international NGOs as much as by forest-dwelling Kichwa, in a process that is not limited to small communities on Amazonian riverbanks, but is truly global in scope. Through the lens of ecotourism, Davidov explores the interplay between global fantasies of authenticity and alterity and the environmental and cultural dimensions of indigenous modernities in Ecuador.

Veronica Davidov is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Monmouth University, USA. She is the co-editor of The Ecotourism-Extraction Nexus: Political Economies and Rural Realities of (un)Comfortable Bedfellows (2013).

1. Historical Foundations and Contemporary Dimensions of Kichwa Ecotoursim
2. Ecotourism: Nature, Culture, and Ethnocentrism
3. Ecoturismo in Ecuador: An Ethnohistorical Account of Rainforests, Indians, and Oil
4. Consuming and (Re)Producing Alterity: Snapshots, Stories, and Souvenirs
5. In Their Own Words: Ecotourism in the Lowland Kichwa Communities
6. Shamans and "Shams"
7. Curating Culture: The Case of the Ethnographic Museum in Chichico Rumi
8. Discussion and Conclusion


"An outstanding contribution to the study of ecotourism that goes beyond utopian promises and dystopic realities to reveal what is at stake locally and transnationally." - Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage
"Veronica Davidov examines the complex interface between ecotourism and globalization through stunning ethnography that weaves together the analysis of the creation, maintenance, and understanding of indigenous life-ways in Ecuador. Along the way she examines ideas about cultural production and anthropological representation, making this book a must read for anyone interested in the anthropology of indigenous communities." - Paige West, Tow Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College, USA and Columbia University, USA
"Davidov's ethnography in motion engages ecotourism as a critical circuit of human encounter and cultural reproduction. This book provides a wonderful glimpse into the messy vitality of cultural reproduction dedicated to transforming an unhealthy present into a healthy future." - Jim Igoe, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Virginia, USA
"Ecotourism and Cultural Production is a major milestone in environmental anthropology, (eco)tourism studies, and cultural geography. Davidov has written an ethnographically sensitive and theoretically rich book that fluently weaves together debates on neoliberal conservation, social movements, and resource extraction. An insightful and compelling read." - Bram Büscher, Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
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