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In his work reviewing the scientifi cation process
of tourism, Jafari lauds this process and asserts
'tourism now has almost all properties and
tools typically associated with the more estab-
lished fi eld of investigations' (2001, p. 32).
However, Macbeth has challenged Jafari's
position as well as the value and desirability of
these developments in tourism research. In a
comment on Jafari's 2001 version of his ana-
lysis of tourism scholarship, Macbeth (2005,
p. 965) asserts that:
Velazquez (1998, pp. 65-66) describes critical,
transformative research:
Transformative research is not a methodology.
It is an orientation toward research that is
defi ned by its intended outcome: producing a
more just and equitable world . . . Transforma-
tive research stimulates critical awareness of
power relationships and empowers researcher
and participants with the knowledge to change
power relationships.
In particular, postcolonial theory has usefully
forced 'a radical rethinking of forms of knowl-
edge and social identities authored and autho-
rized by colonialism and Western domination'
(Prakash, 1994, p. 87). This has liberated reg-
imes of knowledge in numerous profound ways,
including an acknowledgement of the legitimacy
of drawing on personal, self-refl exive and quali-
tative enquiries to arrive at understanding.
Denzin (2000) has stated 'The next moment
in qualitative inquiry will be one at which the
practices of qualitative research fi nally move,
without hesitation or encumbrance, from the
personal to the political' (cited in Holman Jones,
2005, p. 763). Within this sphere, autoethno-
graphy has emerged as a leading methodology,
which can profoundly link the personal and the
political (Holman Jones, 2005). Ellis and Boch-
ner describe it as a form of writing that 'make[s]
the researcher's own experience a topic of inves-
tigation in its own right' (2000, p. 733) and '. . .
displays multiple layers of consciousness, con-
necting the personal to the cultural' (2000,
p. 739). Holman Jones offers 'the personal text
as critical intervention in social, political and
cultural life' (2005, p. 763), which can trans-
form our understandings. Her work suggests:
rather than showing maturity, tourism
scholarship, by becoming overly 'scientifi c' in
its epistemology, would be more limited and
restrictive in its understanding of the world . . .
[However] understanding values and the role
they play is an important aspect of the
maturation of tourism scholarship.
Objectivity, as a key aspect of scientifi cation, is
too often a mask that restricts the ability to see
underlying values and philosophy of
knowledge that restrict the interrogation of
ethical positions.
Macbeth's analysis leads him to add not only a
sustainable development platform but also an
ethics platform to Jafari's previous four plat-
forms, which he argues 'is needed to interrogate
the morality of the positions taken in policy,
planning, development and management' (2005,
p. 962). What is of relevance to this analysis,
however, is the insight that the tourism disci-
pline is hampered by this reverence for objectiv-
ity and scientifi cation.
Critical, Emancipatory Research
and Autoethnography
Looking at the world from a specifi c, perspec-
tival, and limited vantage point can tell, teach,
and put people in motion. It is about autoeth-
nography as a radical democratic politics - a
politics committed to creating space for
dialogue and debate that instigates and shapes
social change.
Personal perspectives are irrevocably shaped by
experiences and insights that are gained in one's
formative years. However, as academics of
tourism, signifi cant pressure is subtly exerted to
adhere to modes of scientifi c inquiry that are
characterized as dispassionate, rational, objec-
tive and value-free. As a self-proclaimed activist
academic, I knew that such a model would not
accommodate the vision I hold for my work. In
my research, I draw on postcolonial, indigenist
and feminist literatures in order to develop a
critical and emancipatory research agenda.
(Holman Jones, 2005, p. 763)
My work here is inspired by the example of
David Botterill, who offered an 'autoethno-
graphic narrative on tourism research episte-
mologies' (2003). Concerned that the tourism
discipline needed a stronger engagement with
ontological and epistemological arguments,
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