Dark Tourism

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Abstract

Dark tourism has passed into the language and study of tourism since it was first designated as such in 1996 (see Lennon & Foley, 1996; Seaton, 1996). It is now established as a term to designate those sites and locations of genocide, holocaust, assassination, crime, or incarceration that have served to attract visitors. The phenomenon exists across a range of global destinations and demonstrates commonality and unifying elements across a range of societies and political regimes. The interpretation of these sites can of course be the product of ideology and dominant belief systems, and they act as the meeting place for history and visitation where questions of authenticity and fact are sometimes juxtaposed with the operation of tourism facilities. What is celebrated, interpreted, and developed is often selective, and dilemmas of commemoration of the unacceptable and acceptable are reflected clearly in the condition, nature, and content of these sites. This selective interpretation is demonstrated in destinations from Cambodia to Lithuania, from Auschwitz to Dallas, and from Moscow to London. In these locations, such tourist attractions become key physical sites of commemoration, history, and record. They provide the visitor with a narrative that may well be positioned, augmented, and structured to engage, entertain, or discourage further inquiry.Dark tourism attractions demonstrate demand but also constitute commemoration, historical reference, narrative legacies, and populist heritage attractions. These tourism sites in some cases become one of the few remaining commemorative elements of victims and their testimonies. In such cases the content and its narrative interpretation take on critically important values in understanding a shared past.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalOxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date31 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2017

Fingerprint

Tourism
Attraction
Commemoration
History
Belief Systems
Holocaust
Nature
Physical
Political Regime
Crime
Lithuania
Testimony
Populist
Genocide
Incarceration
Auschwitz
Heritage
Dallas
Moscow
Cambodia

Keywords

  • dark tourism, thanatourism, genocide, holocaust, assassination, crime, incarceration, visitation, selective interpretation, prison tourism, commemoration

Cite this

Lennon, J. (2017). Dark Tourism. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.212
Lennon, John. / Dark Tourism. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 2017.
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Lennon, J 2017, 'Dark Tourism', Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.013.212

Dark Tourism. / Lennon, John.

In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 31.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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