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Iranian hospitality: from caravanserai to bazaar to reporting symbolic experience

O'Gorman, Kevin D. and Prentice, Richard C. (2008) Iranian hospitality: from caravanserai to bazaar to reporting symbolic experience. In: EuroCHRIE 2008 Congress, 2008-10-11 - 2008-10-14.

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Abstract

This paper reports case studies seeking to address one of the great problems of social science: namely, the extent to which is it possible or desirable accurately to report conscious experience (Hulburt & Scwitzgebel 2007). An interpretive ethnographic approach is used to address this problem. Caravanserais and bazaars in Iran have always offered multi-sensual experiences and represented aspects of symbolic interaction, as well as facilitating physical exchange, between travellers and locals. This is true in their origins, in their nineteenth and twentieth century usage, and in their contemporary roles which increasingly include heritage tourism accommodation or heritage retailing. Using two case studies the paper explores the role that hospitality has played and shows that it has been fundamental to their evolution and remains so, particularly for the commercial caravanserais and tea houses which now exist as refurbished heritage accommodation and restaurants.