5.2 Insideness and outsidenessFirst part of the visit to a place is the arrival. No one, however, comes to a place without some expectations about it. Christian Norberg-Schulz (1997: 41) writes that arriving to a foreign city has sense only if the place has its own identity. Before arriving one travels through a landscape, and the city has to fit to the expectations which this landscape raises. According to him, city as a work of art should be consistent with its natural surroundings to 'take its place' and meet the expectations of a traveller.
It is not only the environing landscape that raises the expectations of a visitor. People do not just end up in a place but they usually have an intention to go there. In the case of tourists this intention is constructed by magazines, television, travel brochures, photos and stories of friends and relatives. As John Urry notes, this creates anticipation towards the place. Urry has developed the concept 'tourist gaze' to describe the manner how tourists do experience places. He points out that this gaze is socially organised and systematised as is the gaze of a medic, an example of Michel Foucault (Urry 1990: 1, 3).
Urry says that tourists are in a way semioticians. They are looking for particular signs in the landscape, like typical English villages, typical American skyscrapers, or typical French castles. The professionals that operate in the tourist business develop different elements in places towards these anticipations. This way a standard experience of a place is produced. Tourism is a kind of game, and all the participants know its rules. The game stays in order because--according to Urry--tourists are not even seeking for authentic experiences but ones that are different from those which they encounter in their everyday life (Urry 1990: 3, 11-12).
Tourist has a home somewhere else, and in that way does not belong to the place where visiting. Tourist is an outsider. On the other hand, being in place tourist is also an insider. In Edward Relph's terminology tourist could be a behavioural insider. Behavioural insideness means that one knows when being in the place where one is. Behavioural insider makes observations about the place and the activities occuring there (Relph 1976: 53).
Besides tourists there exist also travellers. 'Travelling' is derived from French term travail which means work. Distinction to leisure-seeking tourism is evident: travelling takes an effort. The more individual character of travelling is marked also by Urry (1990: 3). The distinction between a tourist and a traveller, however, is not that sharp. One can be one day in one place a tourist, and another day, or in another place, a traveller. What is different is the mode of insideness. A traveller can perhaps achieve what Relph calls empathetic insideness. There is no sharp distinction between behavioural and empathetic insideness but the latter needs more effort to be achieved. It demands willingness to be open to the significancies of the place and to feel it.
One can also be an outsider in a place. If one experiences place just as a background for events one is an incidental outsider. Incidental outsideness is in essence an unselfconscious attitude which according to Relph is typical to people who identify themselves rather to some international or otherwise not place-bound community. Also a businessman who perhaps is an insider in some place may find cities where conferences or business meetings are held irrelevant.
Existential outsideness involves uninvolvement. It is alienation from people and places--according to Relph from all places: existential outsider is not at home anywhere. Relph does not explain why a sense of existential outsideness could not be local, i.e. exist only towards some places. It is anyhow different from objective outsideness which is the viewpoint of a naturalistic scientist. Objective outsider is a detached observer that comprehends places as 'things having certain attributes'. These attributes are then explained with the help of some locational theory.
Relph insists, however, that it is possible to become an insider without even visiting the place. Vicarious insideness is mode that can be achieved with means of art. It is one purpose of an artist or a poet 'to convey something of what it is to live there, to give a sense of that place'. On the contrary, existential insideness is possible only for people who live in that place since it involves deep and complete identity with the place. Existential insider feels belonging to place (Relph 1976: 51-55; see Table 1).
Hence, the conceptual division to an insider and an outsider is not the same as the division to a visitor and an inhabitant. Yet the fact that there are some modes of insideness that are unachievable to either one of them shows that the question of insideness and outsideness is not irrelevant in this context. In general, it could be said that visitor's place experiences tend to be more detached and more visual compared to the ones of an inhabitant. But to say that a visitor is an outsider, and an inhabitant an insider would be an oversimplification of the subject.
Table 1. Modes of outsideness and insideness by Relph (Relph 1976: 51-55).
4. Vicarious insideness