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Cancun’s packaged image of paradise is a dynamic and constantly flowing contestation of identity and livelihood for those involved in the service sector. Indigeneity is used as spectacle, prop, and entertainment in the tourism industry and is especially popular in mass tourism zones like Cancun. Circulation of not only bodies, but theory surrounding authenticity and indigeneity, are all represented in the hyper-commodification that defines mass tourism. Cancun uses transnational connections for marketing of space, goods, and people that are in a constant state of circulation. Looking at the rise of the tourism industry in Cancun processually leads us to explore this moment of mistrust between movements between the United States and Mexico. Violence throughout the border between these countries leads to fear that mass media instills in its audiences. How are these emerging attitudes of fear affecting mass tourism in Mexico? What are the effects of mass tourism on its locality? Using a transnational framework helps to decode complex structures of circulation in Cancun’s mass tourism industry.


This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by National Association of Student Anthropologists: © 2010: Vassallo-Oby, C. (2010). Circulation and Consumption: Transnational Mass Tourism in Cancun, Mexico. Student Anthropologist 2 (1) 38-45.

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