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I percorsi della sociologia del turismo in Italia

Asterio Savelli


The first boost to develop a sociology of tourism in Italy came from the social change processes arising in the 60s and 70s. The privatization of leisure time and the standardization of behavior were the first topics to be considered. They were soon accompanied by changes in the social structure of the countryside, the role that tourism could play in these areas in order to curb migration, the risks associated with the various types of touristic colonization, and the shifts in the values and leisure activities of local communities. Stemming from this last issue was the focus of major interest in the early stages of the Italian sociology of tourism, namely the impact of tourism on local communities. The significant differences noted in various areas of the country as regards the timeframe of tourist development, the approach of business and the levels of participation among local people, gave rise to a particular focus on the regional dimension of tourism issues and policies. Subsequently, the post-Fordist city gave rise to what was described as an «urban renaissance»; it became a unifying element for tourist demand, which was canalized both inside the city and in wide regional spaces. The new dynamic nature of tourism also led to new ways of tackling problems of tourism sustainability: from the alarm for invasion and destruction of environmental resources to the attention on how tourism could be developed while preserving and enhancing such resources, including the protected areas. Meanwhile, new social meanings of tourism are emerging. Individuals in the post-industrial society, who are increasingly split over involvement in its various subsystems, try to rebuild their unity and past by recovering interstitial moments of freedom, play, improvisation, and awe. The beginning of a sociology of Mediterranean tourism brings not only a confrontation of approaches, methodologies and research topics, but also new ways of imagining tourism, of projecting needs and desires on a spatial scale.

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Copyright (©) – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

Rivista di Scienze del Turismo. Ambiente Cultura Diritto Economia
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (15/09/2008 n. 530)
Online ISSN 2037-7908 - Print ISSN 2037-7916

Executive Editor: Nicola Boccella - Associate Editor: Azzurra Rinaldi
Editorial Staff: Andrea Billi - Patrizia Laurano - Antonio Magliulo - Angelo Quarto
Editorial Board: Alberto Abruzzese (Iulm Milano), Victor Aquino (Universidade de São Paulo), Sergio Arzeni (Ocse), Piero Barucci (Università degli Studi di Firenze), Nicola Boccella (Sapienza Università di Roma), Michael Crang (Durham University), Anya Diekmann (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Renato Guarini (Sapienza Università di Roma), Roberto Grossi (Federculture), Han Yong Liang (Zhejiang University), Jorge Lozano (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Michel Maffesoli (Université Paris-Sorbonne), Vanda Perretta (Sapienza Università di Roma), Marina Righetti (Sapienza Università di Roma), Azzurra Rinaldi (Unitelma - Sapienza Università di Roma), Irene Salerno (Sapienza Università di Roma), Pasquale Sandulli (Sapienza Università di Roma), Manuel Valenzuela (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)