Dark Tourism

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Response: Intimations of Dark Tourism

The study of dark tourism by Foley and Lennon displays a significant amount of research and examples. In pointing out the vast number of dark tourist sites, worldwide, the two authors validate the importance of dark tourism in anthropology.

The manner in which a human views death depends completely on the way in which he or she was socialized from the time he or she was born. Although opinions, representations, and the ways in which humans cope with death differ between cultures, Foley and Lennon theorize that death related ceremonies and practices can be found in nearly all societies that practice a religion that differentiates between "body and soul" or earth and heaven (Dark Tourism John Lennon and Malcolm Foley Continuum: New York 2000). Because all men and women eventually die, death is a part of life that all humans must accept; yet we don't know very much about it, therefore seeking answers may be inherent. Death tourism may not only be about some grotesque obsession, but perhaps it is more significant to the human psyche. Nevertheless, Dark tourism has been attached to a much larger fascination with death and violence that is apparent through the media. Perhaps it is true that the constant representations of death through the news and through television shows have numbed our senses a bit, making us less frightened and more interested in death. In addition, the authors discuss the globalization of technology and how this has quickened our ability to view tragedies occurring on a global scale. This onslaught of tsunamis, hurricanes, bombings, assassinations and kidnappings makes these occurrences seem more and more mundane. Kidnappings are no longer unusual, nor are bombings in Iraq. Everyday we are seeing hundreds of people die, and most of the time its no big deal. Our sensibility has numbed, making it more tolerable for us to visit death sites or war zones. Foley and Lennon also discuss the...
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