Theses Doctoral

Marketing Marginalized Neighborhoods: Tourism and Leisure in the 21st Century Inner City

Novy, Johannes

This thesis deals, as its subtitle indicates, with tourism on the neighborhood level. In it, I provide a comparative account of the recent history of tourism development in Berlin-Kreuzberg and Harlem, New York. Grounded in a discussion of the forces reconfiguring urban development as well as tourism in the advanced capitalist world, it examines how, by whom, and with what effects the two neighborhoods are re-imagined, re-constructed, and re-experienced as places to visit and explore; unburies the frequently omitted historicity of "slumming" and other niche tourism practices impacting so-called marginalized neighborhoods; elaborates upon the potential of tourism for socially equitable forms of neighborhood development and explores how the old face of tourism is being challenged by the increasingly complex and diverse realities of contemporary travel and leisure. Understanding tourism as a complex, dynamic system rather than simply an industry or process, the thesis pays particular emphasis to the need to rethink the way the demand side of tourism in cities is conceived and made sense of. Whereas tourism consumption in urban research has traditionally been framed as an altogether distinct activity, my research posits that distinctions between tourism and other forms of migration on the one hand as well as tourism and other forms of leisure and place consumption on the other hand have become increasingly blurred. This, I argue, not only brings about significant changes with regard to cities' tourism and leisure landscapes. Rather, I also find evidence that the increasing pervasiveness of mobility and tourism as well as its increased dedifferentiation, i.e. the blurred boundaries between tourism and non-tourism activities, also transforms meanings of place and space and raises important questions concerning several critical concepts in urban studies such as the notions of 'citizenship', 'community', and 'belonging' in the 21st century.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Marcuse, Peter
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 10, 2011