This book is a simple, straight-forward, easy-to-read study of workers in the tourist industry in Barbados, employing oral history. The main body of the book is twenty brief, transcribed interviews from individuals positioned differently in the industry. The interviews are interesting, and offer illuminating insights into the views of workers themselves. The author is an anthropologist with considerable experience in fieldwork and oral history, who has been directing an ethnographic field school in Barbados. He has also written books on Bajan society and on Bajan emigrants. The book begins with an introductory chapter on tourism in general and Bajan tourism in particular, raising several issues for consideration. The second chapter provides an overview of the Barbados tourist industry, ending with a brief discussion of his research methods. There is also a concluding chapter, with generalizations based on the twenty interviews. The most striking point I got from reading this book is...
I read this book for a research paper on Barbados, that I chose to write for an undergraduate anthropology class called Caribbean Ethnography. The book is written by Professor George Gmelch of Union College in Schenectady, NY. It is a very simple book with little to no anthropological analysis on the surface. However, upon completing this book you will realize Gmelch's perfect and unintentional introduction to the anthropology of everyday life. That is to say, the Gmelch gives us 20 snapshots of people working in the tourism industry in Barbados. Gmelch brings us, their jobs, their home lives, their concerns and the things that bring them joy.
Gmelch stumbles upon a fantastic way to introduce a culture. As I read this book (about 3 years ago, I am writing from memory which can only mean that this book was very good at leaving an impression), I thought that it would be great if other anthropologists and writers did this for each culture they study, as the lives of the...
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