On Tourist Commodification and the Collaborationism it Requires


“[…] Honouring a participatory economy, we are encouraged to warmly welcome tourists who visit us as well as actively take part in building a tourist fidelity that is thought to be basic for the economic sustainability of the sector and, given its importance to the islands’ political economy, for the whole of the Balearic and Pitiuses society. […] We could think we might be confronting collaboration, that is, a kind of equitable reciprocity in which one way or the other everyone gains the same. While incipient, collaboration does not necessarily happen mediated by the nudity of economic exchange, it can happen in the guise of what we have come to know as social capital. […] However, it is the horizon of the economic return what makes them all collaborate with servile attitude to the extent of acting as «cicerones» showing the best kept treasures. Complacent attitudes aside, the fact of formulating the market in such equitable terms that it no longer looks like a market conceal the geography of power that runs across it and that privileges the history that confirms certain hierarchies […]”.


Marc Morell has a doctorate in Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology from the Universitat de Barcelona. He analyses tourism and the urban question on the basis of a study of the character of the production of space in the market society. He has acted as an FPI investigator and an associate professor at the Universitat de les Illes Balears, where he is currently a collaborating member of the research group on Policy, Work and Sustainability. In addition to his other affiliations, Morell is also a collaborating member of the Research Group on Social Exclusion and Control at the Universitat de Barcelona.

Among his recent publications, "Turisme per despossessió, patrimoni col·lectiu i el treball com a comú denominador urbà" [Tourism through dispossession, collective equity and working as a common urban denominator] (Quaderns de l’Institut Català d’Antropologia, 2016), "The Making of Heritage" (Routledge, 2015), and "El trabajo de la gentrificación" (Working Paper Series CONTESTED_CITIES, 2014) stand out. He participates in the mentorship programme at the Centre for the Interpretation of Tourism of "Ciutat de vacances".



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