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Overcoming urban frontiers: Ordering Favela tourism actor-networks


Altamirano, M. E. (2022). Overcoming urban frontiers: Ordering Favela tourism actor-networks. Tourist Studies, 22(2), 200–222.




This paper examines the multiple and heterogeneous, current and potential, relations between hybrid actors of tourism in Favela Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro. It seeks to elucidate the legitimizing potential of tourists acting as “connectors” that reach beyond formal politics’ hindrances. This work applies assemblage theory epistemological framework, and Actor-Network Theory ethnomethodological tools, to explore the issues and roles questioned, altered, made visible, or transformed through favela tourists’ practices and performances. Hence, avoiding the ethical dilemmas and representational concerns from slum tourism researchers in the past. Our fieldwork engages with two favela tours. We follow tourists as they stitch hybrid actor-networks that create multiple orderings in such assemblages, and their material and semiotic configurations. Our research reveals that such tours could be related to different shifts in the favela’s political, social, economic, cultural, and material dimensions.



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