Narrative Construction of Authenticity in Pilgrimage Touring

Publication Date: August 2001

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies; City University of New York. Graduate School and University Center. Dept. of Sociology

Author(s): Shaul Kelner

Research Area: Business

Keywords: Israel Experience; Values; Theory

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This paper analyses the shift from constructivist to existentialist conceptions of authenticity in tourism. I argue 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, I argue that a shared narrative linking observer and observed can resolve the dichotomy between constructivist and existentialist notions of authenticity.