Challenging and confirming touristic representations of the Mediterranean : migrant workers in Crete

  • From the perspective of Western Europe the Mediterranean is shaped by the imagery of tourism and migration. During the time of the “guest worker”-migration in the 1960s and 70s the notion of the hopelessly underdeveloped South of Europe which pushes “guest workers” towards the rich North became prevalent here. It offered a contrast which let the beginning prosperity in the North appear even clearer. (see von Osten 2006) Besides the attractions “sea, sun and sand” it was exactly this conception of backwardness which – reinterpreted in authentic and traditional Mediterranean lifestyle – made the area attractive for tourist consumption. Today it is again pictures of the Mediterranean, which represent migration dynamics in Europe. In the meantime, however, the countries of origin of the “guest workers” have become countries of immigration and European Union member states or candidates for accession. The representation of the Mediterranean as an area of migration is dominated now by pictures of desperate refugees and illegal immigrants, who risk their life by crossing the sea, in order to enter the “fortress Europe”. In these current representations the “colonial narrative of migrants as members of a territory of underdeveloped” is continued (ibid.). A translation of the migrant area into the tourist area seems, however, more difficult than at the times of the “guest worker”-migration. What constitutes the Mediterranean as a tourist destination seems to have no longer anything in common with the Mediterranean as an area of migration.....

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Author:Ramona Lenz
Parent Title (German):St Antony's College, University of Oxford, Ramses Working Paper Series, Working Paper 4/06
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Working Paper
Year of Completion:2006
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/01/24
Source:St Antony's College, University of Oxford, Ramses Working Paper Series, Working Paper 4/06
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften / Kulturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 39 Bräuche, Etikette, Folklore / 390 Bräuche, Etikette, Folklore
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht