Title: Dark tourism: towards a new post-disciplinary research agenda

Authors: Philip R. Stone

Addresses: Faculty of Management, School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors, Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston, PR1 2HE, UK

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.

Keywords: dark tourism; research agendas; post-disciplinary research; social sciences; tourist sites; macabre; social theories; cultural dynamics; banality; limited synthesis; disciplinary synthesis; structural deficiencies; traditional borders; disciplinary borders; restrictive dogmas; parochialism; disciplinarity; black tourism; grief tourism; death; suffering; anthropology; tourist industry; tourists; disasters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2011.043713

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2011 Vol.1 No.3/4, pp.318 - 332

Available online: 14 Nov 2011 *

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