Tourism, Normalisation of Social Relationships and Heritage Codification

Lynch, P.A. and Causevic, S. (2010) Tourism, Normalisation of Social Relationships and Heritage Codification. In: 17th ISA World Congress of Sociology, 2010-07-11 - 2010-07-17.

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This work presents the impact of post-conflict interpretation and reconstruction of the cultural heritage and its influence on identity formation and normalization of social relationships. Empirical research, in the form of deep participant observation of the guided tours, whereby the researcher has been fully immersed into the situation as a ratified insider, took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina's cities of Sarajevo, Mostar, Srebrenica and Banjaluka. The field data was analysed using a critical theory approach. Research also utilised Maurice Bloch's anthropological account of the Double Burial and Hanna Arendt's interpretation of the Eichmann's court case. The research shows that today's Bosnia and Herzegovina is described as a divided state and many feel misrepresented under the prescribed national identities. Multiculturalism, which once used to be a part of Bosnian identity, has been denied, thus delaying the process of social relationships normalisation. The research shows that tourism activities play a reconciliatory role in shaping post-conflict development. Despite reconciled societies being precursors for any economic development and sustainable policies implementation, post-conflict tourism is usually explored under an economic development agenda. Through the lens of heritage codification, this research argues that tourism activities need to be recognised not only as an economic enhancer, but also as an important part of the total process of social renewal.