In the first section, Configuring Ethnicity: The Meaning of Who You Are, Chris Wilson, Phoebe Kropp, and Rena Swentzell explicate tourist sites in Albuquerque, California's Camino Real, and Taos. Essays on Collecting and Belonging include discussions of scrapbooks, souvenirs, and virtual tourism on the Internet by Marguerite Shaffer, Leah Dilworth, and Erika Bsumek. The third section, The Practice of Tourism, offers the perspectives of William L. Bryan, Jr., a leading ecotourism operator, and Susan Guyette and David White, who argue for the autonomy of native people in presenting their experience to visitors. The final section looks at how places are transformed by tourism. Sylvia Rodriguez examines the power dynamics of tourism, Char Miller chronicles the way San Antonio has become a colonial town, and volume editor Hal Rothman presents Las Vegas as a place where authenticity and inauthenticity are purposefully indistinguishable.
The Southwest has long been an American dreamscape, and inherently this has had its affect on the land and its people. Among other topics discussed in the package of essays is how the area is transformed by tourism and how native people gain autonomy by presenting their experiences and cultures to tourists.