Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Restorative Ecotourism as a Solution to Intergenerational Knowledge Retention: An Exploratory Study with Two Communities of San Bushmen in Botswana
by Apelian, Nicole M., Ph.D., Prescott College, 2013, 323; 3587045
Abstract (Summary)

The Khoisan are the most genetically ancient people on Earth, with a population once numbering 300,000. The Bushmen of Southern Africa are quickly losing their 40,000 years of indigenous knowledge due to colonialism, globalization, modernization, assimilation, land loss, and marginalization. There are now large gaps in generational knowledge, especially as people move into settlements and leave their traditional homelands. The restoration of indigenous knowledge requires the paths of intergenerational cultural transmission to be reestablished (Florey, 2009). This dissertation examines whether indigenous knowledge can be perpetuated intergenerationally with the aid of indigenous-based restorative ecotourism. Indigenous-based restorative ecotourism promotes empowerment and local engagement, is responsive to local value systems, and aims to halt marginalization in communities. Using exploratory research within a qualitative paradigm and ethnographic narrative inquiry and semi-structured interviews, I examine the effect of ecotourism on two communities of Nharo and Ju/'hoansi Bushmen through two questions: 1) How has ecotourism changed these two communities and 2) Can restorative ecotourism support intergenerational knowledge retention? The data show that these Nharo and Ju/'hoansi Bushmen want to keep their culture, that they see value in the intergenerational transmission of indigenous knowledge, and that this is happening in both communities involved in ecotourism ventures. I conclude that this system of ecotourism is culturally restorative, and leads to increased indigenous knowledge retention in these communities without further exploitation.

Keywords – San Bushmen, Nharo, Botswana, indigenous knowledge, intergenerational knowledge, restorative ecotourism, cultural tourism

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mitten, Denise
Commitee: Clingan, Joan, Enslin, Elizabeth, Oswald, Dana
School: Prescott College
Department: Education / Sustainability Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Sub Saharan Africa Studies, Sustainability, Recreation
Keywords: Botswana, Cultural tourism, Indigenous knowledge, Intergenerational knowledge, Restorative ecotourism, San Bushmen
Publication Number: 3587045
ISBN: 9781303240409