Picking on the poor: the contradictions of theory and neo-liberal critique. A response to Stasja Koot's paper on the contradictions of capitalism for Indigenous tourism in the South African Kalahari

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The relevance of neo-liberal critique of a community-owned, but commercially managed lodge, is examined with regard to Stasja Koot's paper on “The contradictions of capitalism” published in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism in 2016. Koot focuses on the ≠Khomani Bushmen's relationship with !Xaus Lodge in the Kalahari Desert. His argument locates this small facility as an exemplar of the global contradictions of capitalism in the tourism sector. My response critiques Koot's methodology, theory and conclusions. It provides the missing history of the project discussed, and details the financial evidence that cautions Koot's speculative interpretations. My analysis cautions the relevance and use of Koot's application of David Harvey's Marxist-derived theory of spatial and temporal fixes. This response's assessment is that Koot's conclusions are arrived at without sufficient supporting evidence, and that his theory-led argument conceals a myriad of contextual contradictions that question the unproblematic application of Harvey's theory into a political economic context for which it was not designed. Some comment is offered on researcher positions and responsibilities and on how to interpret responses offered by ≠Khomani sources, whose own playful (and sometimes wilful) exploitation of researchers results in information that must always be triangulated for accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1182-1196
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Bushmen
  • Indigenous tourism
  • Kalahari
  • action research
  • development
  • ethics
  • neo-liberalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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