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Wilderness state of mind: Expanding authenticity

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

Annals of Tourism Research, 2018, vol. 73, issue C, 62-70

Abstract: This paper challenges the overuse of existential authenticity as a categorical umbrella encapsulating touristic experience and contributes new insights to the way postmodern authenticity is defined in tourism research. To date, studies associated with postmodern authenticity have focused on the inauthentic and themed, with scholars contending that it speaks more to the consumptive, the superficial, and the trivial than to the substantive and meaningful. By working through a case study focused on nature tourists in pursuit of authentic wilderness experiences, this paper illustrates the ways postmodern authenticity encompasses much more than cynical authenticity, for while the American wilderness may be a hyperreal, and even hypernatural, simulacrum, nature tourists nevertheless report deep, meaningful, and “authentic” engagements with wilderness.

Keywords: Authenticity; Postmodernism; Wilderness; Adirondack; Hyperreality; Simulacrum (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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