Accumulation by symbolic dispossession: Tourism development in advanced capitalism
journal contributionposted on 23.06.2021, 11:44 by James A Fitchett, Frank Lindberg, Diane Martin
We examine the development of tourism in the Lofoten Islands in Norway to show how the operation of symbolic capital transforms the political economy of space. Whereas prior research has explored the role of symbolic capital in the formation and operation of state structures, less attention has been given to its role in neoliberal transformations within states and efforts to open new markets and opportunities for capital. Our empirical findings show that symbolic capital transforms the Lofoten Islands in four distinct ways through the mechanism of accumulation logics: defining territory, commodification of time and space, legitimacy and authorization, and symbolic power and resistance. We discuss how processes of symbolic accumulation emerge as the most enduring and powerful forms of accumulation by dispossession in advanced capitalist contexts and that the struggle for symbolic capital is often the necessary precursor for the expansion of international tourism markets.