© 1984

The Messages of Tourist Art

An African Semiotic System in Comparative Perspective


Part of the Topics in Contemporary Semiotics book series (TICSE, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Introduction

    1. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 1-12
  3. Tourist Art as Symbolic and Economic Exchange

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 15-29
    3. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 30-56
    4. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 57-77
  4. Creativity and Transformation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 81-104
    3. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 105-141
    4. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 142-173
  5. New Horizons and Symbolic Legacies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 177-193
    3. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 194-216
    4. Bennetta Jules-Rosette
      Pages 217-238
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 239-266

About this book


Tourist art may be a billion dollar business. Nevertheless, such art is despised. What is worse, the "bad" culture is seen as driving out the "good. " Commer­ cialization is assumed to destroy traditional arts and crafts, replacing them with junk. The process is seen as demeaning to artists in the traditional societies, who are seduced into a type of whoredom: unfeeling production of false beauty for money. The arts remain problematic for the social sciences. Sociology textbooks treat the arts as subordinate reflections of social forces, norms, or groups. An­ thropology textbooks conventionally isolate the arts in a separate chapter, failing to integrate them with analyses of kinship, economics, politics, language, or biology. Textbooks reflect the guiding theories, which emphasize such factors as modes of production, patterns of thought, or biological and normative con­ straints, but their authors have not adequately formulated the aesthetic dimen­ sion. One may compare the theoretical status of the arts to that of religion. After the contributions by Emile Durkheim and Max Weber, the sociology of religion is well established, but where is a Durkheim or Weber for the sociology of art? What is true of the social sciences in general holds for understanding of modernization in the Third World. These processes and those places are analyzed economically, politically, and socially, but the aesthetic dimension is treated in isolation, if at all, and is poorly grasped in relation to the other forces.


Max Weber Third World art culture language politics sociology sociology of religion tradition

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Messages of Tourist Art
  • Book Subtitle An African Semiotic System in Comparative Perspective
  • Authors Bennetta Jules-Rosette
  • Series Title Topics in Contemporary Semiotics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag US 1984
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-306-41598-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4757-1829-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4757-1827-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 266
  • Number of Illustrations 42 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Fine Arts
    Cultural Heritage
  • Buy this book on publisher's site