Aesthetic cognition of society: modern and postmodern representations in contemporary non-fiction
Patterns of representation in travel writing, travel guides, journalism and memoir are shown to amount to aesthetic cognition by comparison to social science analogues. Their postmodernity questions the supposed factuality of those genres. Travel writing and travel guides’s expected orientation to the present is contested by how the past is used. The patterns show operational potential for empirical testing of usual temporal boundaries of the postmodern. Finally, they are forms of modern and postmodern cognitive engagement of tourists and would-be tourists with society, complementing major theories of tourist motivation.
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