Book Chapter

Ethics and profits: Economic development, hospitality, and the preservation of urban heritage

M Herzfeld

The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and the City | Routledge | Published : 2019


Building on my experience in Greece, Italy, and Thailand, as well as on observations on urban tourist development in China, I offer an account of the delicate balancing act that the conscientious ethnographer must engage in in order to contribute usefully to the quality of urban life in cities now facing rapid tourist development. Should the ethnographer be a judge of “what is best for the locals”? Learning from local actors’ understanding of agency, I suggest, we can instead contribute to the construction of an alternative model of “development” (preferably under a less evolutionist name) that recognizes the allure, distaste, and ethical confusion associated with the exoticism of the touris..

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