Being there together: Dark family tourism and the emotive experience of co-presence in the holocaust past

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Abstract

This study examines the motivations and lived experiences of Israeli descendants of Holocaust survivors who set out on family roots trips to heritage sites and sites of atrocity accompanied by their survivor parents. Post-trip semi-structured interviews disclose the marginalization of historical heritage and post-tourist identity work. Instead, descendants highlight pathos-filled familial sociality. Co-presence in sites of atrocity enables the performance of survivor emotions tacitly present in the home thereby evoking descendant empathy and identification. Emergent " we-relationships" and family " home-making" while away calls for the deconstruction of binaries such as: ordinary/extraordinary, mundane/sacred, and home/away. Findings problematize the mystification of dark tourism and suggest the 'domestication' of secular pilgrimages. Finally a re-presencing of the family in mainstream tourism research is called for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Dark tourism
  • Emotions
  • Family
  • Heritage
  • Holocaust
  • Roots trips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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