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The fantasy of authenticity: Touring with Lacan

Daniel C. Knudsen, Jillian M. Rickly and Elizabeth S. Vidon

Annals of Tourism Research, 2016, vol. 58, issue C, 33-45

Abstract: Despite considerable research regarding the meaning of authenticity, there remains uncertainty as to the work authenticity performs in tourism. Existential authenticity conceptually shifts focus from the objects of touristic practice to a sense of Being, suggesting that authenticity can be achieved, albeit only in the liminal moments of tourism experiences. Psychoanalysis would contend otherwise—authenticity will always be beyond our reach. In a 2006 publication, Tim Oakes broaches the topic when discussing authenticity as “an abyss”. We revisit that idea, developing it further through the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis to argue that authenticity is a fantasy. It is not an empty concept, rather, like all fantasies authenticity does important work, particularly in tourism marketing and touristic motivation and experience.

Keywords: Authenticity; Alienation; Lacan; Fantasy; Existentialism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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