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The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 3 - Section IV-VI Summary

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Chapter 3 - Section IV-VI Summary and Analysis

Section IV begins by continuing the exploration of how "local atmosphere" has been provided in exotic locations. It is the hope of these exotic locations to become places where tourists congregate and thus offer "attractions" for them to consume. He continues by discussing the role of museums as attractions for tourists to visit.

The argument is made that the objects were "liberated" from the homes of the wealthy and famous in order to be available for all to view. However, these objects have now been removed from their context and thus can create a false image of a culture, time period, or artistic movement. Boorstin asserts that, "All tourist attractions share this factitious, pseudo-eventful quality". Boorstin continues that tourist attractions inevitably give a false representation of a country because the attractions themselves have been specially selected for the tourist and only give a shallow rendering of what may be found.

Karl Baedeker was a "pioneer" in the development of the tourism guide with emphasis on giving the locals a script of what they should be doing in order to support the image that was being portrayed of the culture. Baedeker was known for his unbending attention to detail and accuracy, which he developed by experiencing the sites he wrote about first hand. He included tips for tourists in how to avoid unpleasant experiences as well as how to tip in various situations. Baedeker eventually expanded his purview to include advice on fitting in with the locals and what the local expectations were on behavior and dress. He also developed a system of rating using stars that led to a kind of "one-upmanship", concerning who had marked off the most stars on the list. Again it was a way to educate and sophisticate the common people which led to the commoditization of traveling.

In section V, Boorstin applies his critique of tourism to traveling in America. America has been "homogenized" due to the ability to eat the same food, listen to the same music, and watch the same movies. This was partially accomplished by tours within the country, including use of a train system similar to that of Cook. Boorstin states that the use of trains is diminishing partly in favor of more rapid and uniform methods of transit, including cars. He compares "motor touring" with air travel in the sense that it has the same sanitized "empty" feeling to it, leaving no contact with the surrounding area.

Boorstin opens section VI talking about the changes in our understanding of time and space. Increasingly, space is taking over and time becomes more and more meaningless in the context of travel. He suggests that the "pseudo-event" of tourism "overshadows" the experience of travel again mainly due to the graphic revolution.

This section contains 467 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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