Since I was a pup, I’ve always loved Disney World’s Epcot, especially its “World Showcase.” Since college, where I discovered business anthropology, Disney’s World Showcase has only taken on deeper significance. Heck, Disney grabs eleven different nations by the ear, and crams their cultural heritage into one-half of a single theme park. Sheer commercial arrogance? Perhaps. But hey, at least they have some cool museums. Though sometimes criticized by anthropologists, museums remain tried-and-true educational tools.
Take, for example, Disney’s Tomb Warriors: Guardian Spirits of Ancient China exhibit (“Tomb Warriors“.) Tomb Warriors showcases Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s burial, which consists of 7000 life-sized clay warriors, charged to escort Emperor Huang through the afterlife. Check it out for free at, http://ashkuff.com/blog/?p=356
My question for OAC is, "how do you feel about Disney's use of archaeological and anthropological research, to drive tourism?" Of course, any other comments are welcome, too! Even short and silly ones.
I can't help but be reminded of a short trip we had when I was an undergrad to Sarawak's Cultural Village where they mixed and matched several ethnic groups including the Penan. I do agree that they serve as a good educational tool and not to mention quite fun if you're a kid, this also reminds me that I had a professor who said that he was inspired by The Golden Bough and that was what propelled him towards anthropology. In one sense sure, we 'exoticize' the other (and perhaps eroticize it too! ala The Sleeping Dictionary!) but once we get into the thick of the discussion and the corpus of knowledge that has been compiled in anthropology and sociology surely our opinions change at some point. Looking at the pics now I wanna go to Disney!