Dark tourism: towards a new post-disciplinary research agenda
by Philip R. Stone
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology (IJTA), Vol. 1, No. 3/4, 2011

Abstract: Over the past decade or so, dark tourism research – that is, the social scientific study of tourism and tourists associated with sites of death, disaster or the seemingly macabre – has witnessed a burgeoning of the literature base. Much of this research has a profundity that can and, undoubtedly, will contribute to broader social theories and to our understanding of cultural dynamics. Arguably, however, some dark tourism research has been characterised by a banality that either illustrates deficient conceptual underpinning or provides for limited disciplinary synthesis. Thus, in order to assuage any structural deficiencies in dark tourism as a coherent body of knowledge, I suggest scholars need to transgress traditional disciplinary borders and interests, and to adopt post-disciplinary research approaches that are characterised by increased reasonableness, flexibility and inclusivity. Consequently, I propose important, though not necessarily exclusive, components of a potential dark tourism research agenda that are critical to building a post-disciplinary approach. Ultimately, however, I offer this essay as a preliminary conversation and invitation to (dark) scholars to take up future dark tourism research without the restrictive dogma and parochialism of disciplinarity.

Online publication date: Mon, 14-Nov-2011

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