English Faculty Publications

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Book Chapter

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The Amish and the Media


Judging from the relative number of tourists who visit these two sorts of towns, tourists appear to prefer views of the Amish that are provided by more rather than less touristy venues. In this essay, I compare the views of Amish offered by two towns in Ohio's Amish Country. One town, Walnut Creek, is very popular among tourists; the other town, Mount Hope, is significantly less popular. Ultimately, I argue that Mount Hope is less popular than Walnut Creek largely because its representation of the Amish constitutes the tourist in ways that are less reassuring for middle Americans. But before I offer my readings of Walnut Creek and Mount Hope, I turn first to some theoretical work on tourism that addresses the question of "authenticity," which is the apparent draw among tourists to the Amish.

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Johns Hopkins University Press

Place of Publication

Baltimore, MD