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Inca of the Blood, Inca of the Soul: Embodiment, Emotion, and Racialization in the Peruvian Mystical Tourist Industry

Michael Hill
Journal of the American Academy of Religion
Vol. 76, No. 2 (Jun., 2008), pp. 251-279
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25484002
Page Count: 29
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Inca of the Blood, Inca of the Soul: Embodiment, Emotion, and Racialization in the Peruvian Mystical Tourist Industry
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Abstract

In the context of the globalizing New Age movement and of the "turismo mistico" (mystical tourism) industry emanating from Peru, white and mestizo New Age practitioners and tourists fashion ideologies emphasizing the spiritual energy which supposedly resides in Quechua bodies, even as they freely appropriate Quechua cosmology and ritual for a hybridized New Age Andean spirituality. This case shows how racialized structural inequalities are expressed and experienced by tourists and New Age movement leaders through particular, essentialist representations of the body and through a common repertoire of emotional responses to inequality, commodification, and privilege. The paper provides an ethnographic account of how racialization may be perpetuated, negotiated, and resisted through religious systems, particularly through the work of constructing ideologies and experiences of the body and of emotional subjectivity.

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