The dynamics behind volunteer tourism

Pearce, P.L., and Coghlan, A. (2008) The dynamics behind volunteer tourism. In: Lyons, Kevin D., and Wearing, Stephen, (eds.) Journeys of Discovery in Volunteer Tourism. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 130-143.

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This chapter directs attention towards the antecedents of one emerging form of contemporary tourism; specifically it focuses on the roots of volunteer tourism. It is argued here that there are four useful levels of analysis in seeking an understanding of the drivers of alternative tourism and its immediate exemplar of volunteer tourism. The levels are initially broad and inclusive but as each layer of analysis is considered and the questions it addresses are discussed, the focus becomes more specific. The first level of analysis is historical and broadly anthropological and here the development of civilizations, environmental ethics and the quest for otherness will be explored as sources of understanding. Next, a macro-sociological view will be explored. While at times such a view is closely allied to the cultural historians' and anthropologists' perspectives, some additional insights will be generated by considering the characteristics attributed to generational differences. In particular, the contrasting travel attitudes and values of baby boomers, generation X and generation Y cohorts will be considered. The active, embodied responses of these cohorts to what is broadly referred to as postmodernity complete a third and dynamic micro-sociological level of explanation. The final level of explanation to be employed is psychological with the frameworks of social psychology (in terms of equity theory) and motivational analysis both making contributions to the discussion. It will be argued that, like tourism itself, the roots of volunteer tourism are based in different layers of human and social needs which act in concert to create the forms we witness. For the participating individuals, for the companies which manage the volunteer experiences and for the communities and settings the volunteers assist, the sharper understanding of the forces giving rise to volunteer tourism can be used to assess its likely longevity. At a less pragmatic level, an understanding of tourism's role in shaping issues of identity and human growth is a particular insight from the focus on the roots of volunteer tourism.

Item ID: 7378
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-84593-380-7
Keywords: volunteer; tourism
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Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2010 03:13
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150699 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 75%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 25%
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