A taboo is a prohibition placed on exposing what is good as well as what is bad. Indeed, prohibited by authority or social influences, taboos are rooted in an unconscious guilt and insulated from our psychosocial life-worlds by mediating institutions of religion and politics. Yet, in an age of secularisation and liberalisation, new mediating institutions of the taboo are emerging, particularly within contemporary museology. Presently, therefore, a number of time-honoured taboos are increasingly becoming translucent and, as a result, there is a new willingness to tackle inherently ambiguous and problematical interpretations. Consequently, an exhilarating phase of museological development has opened up, and with it, the strategic deployment and (re)presentation of taboo subjects within museums, such as death and dying, now provides for a ‘dark leisure’ experience. However, speculation remains as to the consequences and experiential nature of consuming the taboo within the visitor economy. Thus, this chapter offers a a new theoretical model to frame ‘dark leisure’ experiences and the (de)construction of morality within secular society. Ultimately, the chapter suggests ‘dark leisure’ experiences form an integral part of dialogic meaning making and, as such, offer the contemporary leisure visitor a counter-hegemonic and emancipatory opportunity to (de)construct ontological meanings of contemporary society.
- dark tourism,
- dark leisure,
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