Fieldwork in tourism: Methods, issues and reflections pages:177-187
Researching tourism in Asia, like elsewhere in the world, is a fascinating but extremely challenging endeavour. Since tourism is a multi-layered phenomenon – marked by a plethora of politico-economic, socio-cultural, and other processes of production, consumption, representation, and regulation on local, national, regional, and global levels – many studies fail to understand and explain it adequately. Collaborative, mixed-methods, and multi-sited research have been proposed as possible ways to tackle and unpack tourism’s complexity. However, these are demanding to engage with as a graduate student, often with limited time, experience, and resources. Using my dissertation fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as an example, I demonstrate how a “glocal ethnography” approach helped me capturing the details of the local tourism scene while at the same time paying attention to how that local reality is firmly embedded in and continuously interacting with broader processes and power structures. In this chapter, I offer a tentative description of what glocal ethnography entails and I illustrate the use of this methodology in my own study of tour guiding.