Tourism and nationalism

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The viewing of heritage sights by domestic tourists is a key aspect in the formation and maintenance of a national identity, especially when nationalism is understood as an "imagined community". Tourist sights may function in the same way as do museums in Benedict Anderson's classic study of nationalism: as places presenting the defining characteristics of nationhood and displaying historical evidence of its existence. Using three examples from the American state of South Dakota-Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Wall Drug Store, and Rapid City Dinosaur Park-this article argues that, despite their recent creation, each provides a foundational history and "archeology" upon which a national identity can be built. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Annals of Tourism Research

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