Volunteer Tourism: Popular Humanitarianism in Neoliberal Times

1st Edition

Mary Mostafanezhad

Routledge
Published May 25, 2017
Reference - 176 Pages
ISBN 9781138082526 - CAT# Y333368
Series: New Directions in Tourism Analysis

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Summary

Crossing disciplinary and chronological boundaries, Volunteer Tourism: Popular Humanitarianism in Neoliberal Times is the first full-length treatment of volunteer tourism from a longitudinal ethnographic perspective. Volunteer tourism, one of the fastest growing niche tourism markets in the world, is a type of tourism in which tourists pay to participate in conservation, humanitarian or development oriented projects. Volunteer Tourism is a comprehensive and comparative study of the perspectives of Thai host community members, NGO practitioners and international volunteer tourists. The book thus shines an ethnographic lens onto the complexities and contradictions of the volunteer tourism experience in northern Thailand. Drawing on cross-disciplinary perspectives in geography and anthropology as well as development, tourism and cultural studies, Volunteer Tourism illustrates how a focus on sentimentality in the volunteer tourism encounter obscures the structural inequalities on which the experience is based. Such a focus situates volunteer tourism within the commodification and sentimentalization of development and global justice agendas, which hail the new moral consumer and reframe questions of structural inequality as questions of individual morality. As a result, albeit inadvertently, the practice of volunteer tourism serves the continued expansion of the cultural logics and economic practices of neoliberalism.

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