The tendency to view the values and behavior of other
peoples as invariably inferior and less "natural" or
logical than those of one's own social group, and to
judge the values and behaviors of other peoples by the
standards of one's own social group.
Tourism and Ethnocentrism
The Composition of the Group . . .
 “Our small band was intrepid, well traveled and well
prepared. Members talked knowingly of the volcanic sands
of Guatemala, the cashews of Mozambique, the barracudas
of Belize. They carried medical kits that included sutures
and hypodermic needles. They knew how to check the tires
of domestic airplanes. They could find the 24-hour
supermarket in Teheran to buy caviar and the synagogues in
Isfahan on their own.”
 “Ronald Endeman, a lawyer from San Diego, counted Iran as
the 235th country he has visited so far (but then, he counted
places like Sicily and Hawaii as countries, too).”
--even though there are less than 200 countries in the world!
Disrespect for the Laws and Customs of Iran . . .
“Except at the mosques, the women in our group took
risks with their dress almost from the start. Our guide
made the mistake of telling us at our first orientation
that we did not have to wear the poorly sewn, anklelength polyester coats handed out at the beginning of
the tour. So some women donned their husbands'
shirts over pants and exchanged their scarves for hats.
It was unseasonably hot, so we even dared to go
bareheaded on the bus, which elicited wide-eyed stares
(but no arrests).”
more . . .
They Consciously Violated Iran’s Social Norms:
“The American women were incensed that Iranian
women have to ride in the back of the bus. And then
there was the incident of the restaurant toilets in in
Shiraz. The men's was a familiar Western, chairlike
model; the women's was, as in most places, a
porcelain hole in the ground that required squatting.
The women simply barged past the male attendant
into the men's room.”
“But there were moments of discovery, many of them
disheartening. Katharine Loring, an emergency room nurse
and bicyclist, said that Iran would be a great place to take a
bike trek, but then learned that men and women must ride
bikes on segregated tracks. Mr. Endeman, the lawyer, gave
a young Iranian woman friend of mine a good-bye hug in
front of our hotel in Shiraz, and she recoiled in fear: Men
and women who are not close relatives are not even
supposed to shake hands.”
Even though they were publicly criticized
for their behavior . . .
“Still, there were uncomfortable incidents when perfect
strangers told us we were misbehaving. For instance, when
one female tour member posed for a photograph with a
group of giggling Iranian women in their chadors in
Mashad, a man barked at the women not to allow their
faces to be photographed.”
“The lead story on the television news that night
showed footage from demonstrations in more than
a dozen cities around the country. The only
problem was that some of the footage obviously
came from the archives. Still, members of our
group were not amused. ‘I've been smiling at
people up to now," said Fritz Wright, a retired
engineer. "At this point I don't know whether to
smile at them or not.’"
. . . Duh!
An Anthropological Perspective . . .
 “What I see is a privileged group of Americans (one of whom apparently
measures the depth of his cross-cultural experience by counting the number of
countries he visited, including Sicily and Hawaii in his list of countries!) who
traveled thousands of miles to Iran and then became disappointed that they did
not find America when they arrived there.
 The pleasure of traveling to a foreign country is to enjoy the very differences
that traveling to that country provides. When I am visiting another country, or
even when I am visiting culturally different locations within the U.S., I respect
the norms and customs of the region or the locality I visit. I don't expect
Iranians or anyone else to live by my rules. Maybe, that is why all of my travel
experiences have been rewarding, even the "challenging" ones.
 Perhaps Ms. Sciolino and her companions should stay at home the next time
and experience foreign lands via the Discovery Channel, or maybe they could
visit the EPCOT Center at Disney World where they could simultaneously enjoy
both palatable versions of "other cultures" and flush toilets for everyone.
Kenyan Dancers . . .
“When the Maasai dance for themselves in real manyeatas,
they huddle together. When they dance for tourists, they line
up like an aerobic class.”
“Come on you tourists, buy our beadwork and give us all of
your money.”
“There is no cultural exchange. The tourists get a parody of a
culture they don’t even want to understand. The locals, if they
are lucky, get a handful of loose change. And the walls
between ourselves and others rise.
Hal Rothman, Devil’s Bargain . . .
 “Tourism . . . is the most colonial of colonial economies.”
 “Industrial tourism . . . a postindustrial activity created by
wealth and leisure.
 In postindustrial societies, experience has emerged
as the commodity to be packaged and marketed to
those who have replaced the accumulation of wealth
with the possession of experience.
 This “conceit” is one of the more important forces
driving the competitive marketing of tourist
Consequences of Tourism . . .
 “Tourism . . . is in reality a ‘devil’s bargain in which local
communities gain economic development, but only through . . .
The loss of what makes them a community.”
 “Living is replaced by lifestyle.”
 By catering to tourists, local communities become
caricatures of themselves.
They sell “bottled”
 Aspen: from mining town to faux Swiss mountain
ski resort.
 Santa Fe: from poor territorial capital to quaint and
colorful multi-ethnic festival.
Tourism-induced changes are not just aesthetic; they
are social, economic and political . . .
 The community must be what the market demands.
 Control of the community is, thus, lost to outsiders and to outside
social, political and economic forces.
 Few if any businesses survive that serve the local community.
 Aspen and Vail have become “up-scale tourist-oriented shopping
centers with faux Victorian architecture.”
 Santa Fe has become an “up-scale tourist-oriented shopping centers
with faux Pueblo architecture.”
 Rising costs and low wages force locals out of the community.
 This is true within the U.S. and in international tourism.
Tourism can result in a variety of conflicts . . .
 The conflict of expectations in Iran.
 The resentment of tourists in Kenya.
 The conflict over earning a living vs. maintaining values in
 The anti-tourist backlash in Santa Fe.
 The kidnapping and killing of tourists in the Middle East, Africa
and Indonesia.
Ecotourism Represents Another Example of
Tourism as Neo-Colonialism . . .
 A major multinational corporation has allocated one quarter of a billion
dollars for the purchase of land in developing countries. The money will be
funneled through a Western-dominated international organization whose
voting members are disproportionately represented by individuals and
corporations from the U.S. and Europe. The land purchase is designed to
remove prime land from indigenous ownership in order to have it be at the
disposal of the mostly white employees and customers served by the
international organization in question.
 Intel Corporation has announced that it is donating $250 million to
Conservation International for the purchase of land in developing countries.
Conservation International is a major international organization that
undertakes biodiversity research, conducts its own ecotours and supports
the ecotourism industry. The principal beneficiaries of both the biodiversity
research and ecotourism industries are disproportionately white middle and
upper-middle income citizens from the economically advantaged countries in
Europe and North America.
“North Waging Cultural War against South”
Frank Furedi,
“In this new climate of Northern moral intrusion, all forms of
Southern cultural practices become subject to scrutiny. Western
aid agencies, including the World Bank, have emerged as
champions of Third World children and women. Campaigns, such
as those against female genital mutilation in Sudan and child labour
in India, have been harnessed to the perennial crusade against
Third World fertility.”
“Since in many of the campaigns around the issues of fertility,
women and children are presented in the vocabulary of rights, they
often enjoy the endorsement of Western liberal, left-wing and
feminist circles. And yet it can be argued that such campaigns of
moral intrusion represent a form of cultural warfare against
societies of the South.”
Furedi (cont.) . . .
 “For family planners the cultural norms and values of target
societies are obstacles that need to be overcome through a
variety of techniques.
 “A central emphasis is placed on encouraging women to adopt
aspirations, lifestyles and identities which are at variance with the
prevailing norm.
 "To reduce unwanted sexual contact and pregnancy, we must
assist girls to envision future identities apart from sexual, marital
and mothering roles," argue Bongaarts and Bruce.
 “The far-reaching implications of this perspective . . . (is) . . . to
foster new aspirations and identities . . . (that) . . . would
systematically undermine the moral foundation of the target
Furedi (cont.) . . .
 “Population control literature contains an implicit - sometimes
explicit- moral condemnation of the culture of fertility that
prevails in target societies. It contains a clear assumption of
moral superiority, which is expressed routinely in the moral
condemnation of practices deemed to be unacceptable. “
 “UNFPA's The State of World Population contains a variable
catalogue of practices and beliefs which are confidently
dismissed as unacceptable. The report sometimes assumes the
tone of a sermon, which runs through a list of practices that
should be abolished and which ought to be adopted. Female
circumcision is represented as a ‘major public health issue’. The
need for later marriages is stressed because of its beneficial
effect on the rate of population growth.”
October 12, 1999
Thomas Malthus
Statements made by Paul Ehrlich . . .
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the
1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions will starve
to death in spite of any crash programs embarked
upon now.”
--The Population Bomb (1968)
“By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce
the earth's population to some acceptable level,
like 1.5 billion people.“
--“Eco-Catastrophe” (1969)
Humanity was predicted to exhaust critical
resources in the following order . . .
gold . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1981
mercury . . . . . . . . . . 1985
tine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1987
zinc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1990
petroleum . . . . . . . . . 1992
copper . . . . . . . . . . . 1993
lead . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1993
natural gas . . . . . . . 1993
--Club of Rome, Limits to Growth (1972)
The following claims of species loss have already
been made . . .
40,000 species per year
250,000 species per year, with half
the earth’s species gone by the year
2000, and all species gone by 2025.
--Norman Myers, The Sinking Ark (1979)
--Paul Ehrlich (1981)
40,000 species per year
--Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (1992)
27,000 - 100,000 species per year
--E.O. Wilson, Diversity of Life (1992)
Average global
caloric consumption
has steadily
increased over the
past 40 years . . .
. . . during the same
period that world
population more
than doubled.
SOURCE: FAO 2001 presented in Lomborg 2002:109)
Population Density by Country
U.S. Population Growth
U.S. Population
1,400 %
273 %
Population Growth in Japan
In Japan, it is as if half the population
of the U.S. lived in southern California.
Developed Countries
(in thousands,
Consumption Per
(kilograms oil equiv.,
(per square km.,
(US$, 1997)
SOURCE: United Nations
Underdeveloped Countries
Consumption Per
(per square
km., 1997)
(kilograms oil equiv.,
Sierra Leone
SOURCE: United Nations
Who poses more
of a threat to the
Africans & Asians
Europeans & Americans
Who places a greater stress on
the environment within the U.S.?
The people who live in a
row house in downtown
Allentown, buy used cars
and appliances, and attend
a local college?
or . . .
. . . the people who live in
suburbia, shop at the malls,
buy new cars and appliances,
travel to Europe, and attend
private residential colleges?
Whose Interest Does the Population
Control Movement Serve?
”The Malthusian motive: the will to control the population of the
poor rather than the consumption of the rich; the desire to eliminate
poverty by reducing the numbers of the poor rather than the
inequalities of society. . . .
. . . If we claim that there are too many people on the earth, then
why are we so sure that we are not the excess ones --we westerners
who individually consume and pollute as much as 50 or more
African or Indian peasants? In all my years in the field of
population, I have never one single time heard a member of the
population establishment say that there were too many uppermiddle class white Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the world. . . .”
--Pierre Pradervand, Africa Report (1974)
SAGE sponsored the
Vagina Monologues at
Muhlenberg in order
to raise money, in
part, to help stop
“Female Genital
Mutilation” in Africa
and the Middle East.
Contrary to feminist claims, female circumcision is supported by
both men and women in the countries where it is practiced. It is not
imposed on women by male-dominated societies.
Contrary to feminist claims, female circumcision is not practiced to
please the husband or to control a woman’s sexuality. It is
primarily practiced for the same reason that Jews practice male
circumcision: tradition and social identity.
Contrary to the claims made by those who want to eradicate female
circumcision in Africa, broken bottles are rarely used in female
circumcision. As would be expected, the same tools are used in
female circumcision as are used in male circumcision.
Again, contrary to Western opponents of female circumcision,
most women who undergo female circumcision in Africa
experience normal consequences of surgery.
Despite the intense opposition to
female circumcision in Western
countries . . .
. . . no attempts have been made to end male circumcision
in Africa or the Middle East.
. . . or in the U.S.
While the majority of men in the
U.S. are circumcised, few men
in Europe are circumcised,
leading many Europeans to see
America as rather barbaric.
Christians have long celebrated
the circumcision of Jesus.
Some 14 churches throughout Europe,
including Chartre Cathedral, claimed to
have had Jesus’ foreskin at one time or
another. The “Holy Prepuce”, was revered
as a relic and was believed to have been
responsible for many miracles.
According to one Christian tradition,
St. Catherine of Sienna wore Jesus’
foreskin as a wedding ring, signifying
her mystical marriage to Jesus.
Who does it benefit?
 Population Control
 Female Circumcision
 The Yir Yuront of Australia
 Amina Lawal in Nigeria
 Native Americans, “Friends of the Indians”
and the Dawes Act