Magical romance: Commercial rafting adventures

Eric J. Arnould, Linda L. Price, Cele Otnes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Magic and fantasy are everywhere. Ghanaian Ak’uaba dolls have become a popular talisman for childless North American baby boomers who still hope for a child (Worthington 1997). Halloween is in vogue as an adult holiday (Santino 1994). Television shows such as the X-Files (Kozinets 1996) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are wildly popular. Extreme leisure experiences that offer personal transformation have experienced dramatic growth in participation (Caudron 1992). Life magazine reports that 48 per cent of Americans believe in astrology. In a 1984 National Opinion Research Council study 67 per cent of respondents said that they had experienced extrasensory perception, while an earlier survey found that 35 per cent of respondents felt very close to some powerful, external spiritual force (Blum and Golitzin 1991; Miller 1997). Fifteen different African-derived medical and magical systems thrive in the New World, including Haitian-inspired Hoodoo and Conjure, and Cuban-inspired Santeria in the USA. Umbanda, an Afro-Brazilian religion, is estimated to reach 30 million largely white, middle-class followers primarily in Brazil (Voeks 1997:2). Successful entrepreneurs like Anita Roddick of the Body Shop and Richard Branson of the Virgin Empire consult specialists in the Chinese art of feng shui or luck management (McSherry 1996). What is this resurgence of magic and fantasy all about?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRomancing the Market
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)0203360729, 9781134669738
ISBN (Print)0415184185, 9780415184175
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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