Narrative Construction of Authenticity in Pilgrimage Touring
Publication Date: August 2001
Publisher(s): American Sociological Association
Author(s): Shaul Kelner
Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive
Keywords: American Jews; Identity formation
Coverage: United States
This paper analyses the shift from constructivist to existentialist conceptions of authenticity in tourism. The author argues that the existentialist approach represents a withdrawal from an ongoing and unresolved debate, rather than the reconciliation that it has sometimes been presented as. Such an approach has divorced the notion of authenticity from any inherent relationship to the act of touring. Utilizing ethnographic data from a study of a Jewish-American pilgrimage tours to Israel, is argued that a shared narrative linking observer and observed can resolve the dichotomy between constructivist and existentialists notions of authenticity.