Year of Graduation
Ashleigh Breske, Darla Schumm. Jon Bohland
The tourism industry in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic is dominated by foreign enterprise. Given the history of colonization in the Dominican Republic, the social dynamics in the tourism industry are imperialist by nature. This thesis seeks to understand how tourist maps are used to assimilate tourists into the social dynamics of Puerto Plata. To do this, it unravels existing literature on tourism in the Caribbean, the nature of the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic as well as its foreign benefactors, and foundational works on the sociological aspects of tourism.
The findings of this paper are that tourist maps seek to assimilate tourists into the existing exploitative dynamics of capitalism and imperialism. By normativizing and glamorizing these violent and destructive processes, tourists are lulled into complacency. This may have lasting effects on the popular narrative surrounding economic imperialism in the Dominican Republic because maps are a trusted source of information for tourists and in visiting the country, they become eyewitnesses to these social processes with the authority to describe what they saw to their family, friends, and co-workers.
Duncan, Amy, "Assimilating the Dominican Tourist: What Maps Tell Tourists in Puerto Plata about the Processes of Capitalism and Imperialism" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses, Hollins University. 54.