گردشگری داوطلبانه در طول سال : افسانه شهروندی جهانی؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|147||2012||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 361–378
The valorisation of cross-cultural understanding and promotion of an ethic of global citizenship are at the forefront of the recent development and proliferation of international ‘gap year’ travel programs and policies. Governments and industry alike promote gap year travel uncritically as a guaranteed pathway to the development of inclusive ideologies associated with global citizenship. In this paper we examine how the neoliberalist context in which gap year travel programs have proliferated does little to promote tolerance. We then consider the recent growth of ‘volunteer tourism’ as an alternative gap year youth travel experience and explore how the implied resistance to self-serving neoliberalist values that it engenders can become coopted by neoliberalism.
The challenges posed by contemporary population flows, cross-border exchanges and the international mobilisation of human resources are undeniably global in scope and impact. These challenges correspond with important debates about the nature, values, attributes and efficacies of the shifting scales of citizenship most notably evident in discussions about cosmopolitanism, transnationalism, and global citizenship (e.g., Carter, 2004 and Dower, 2000). Emerging from this discourse is a meritorious viewpoint that suggests that global forms of belonging, responsibility, and political action counter the intolerance and ignorance that more provincial and parochial forms of citizenship encourage. Such a perspective has underpinned social policies and initiatives in developed nations such as Australia over the past few decades that, at least on the face of it, celebrate diversity and multiculturalism. One such initiative designed to address intolerance promotes international tourism among young people, invoking the sentiments of Mark Twain who stated that “[t]ravel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”. Following Twain, it has been commonplace in the literature to argue that tourism can and does function as an important contributor to the development of the attributes of global citizenship. Much of this literature focuses on the role tourism plays in enhancing international and cross-cultural understanding, tolerance-building, disabusing of stereotypes, the exchange of values and the mutual benefits of a global citizenry (D’Amore, 1988, Ketabi, 1996, Matthews, 2008 and Smith, 1989). Accounting for over one-twelfth of world trade and by far the largest movement of people across borders, international tourism is regarded by governments and the tourism industry as an important facilitator of global citizenship through the exchange of cultures accounting for 10% of global employment and global Gross Domestic Product (World Tourism Organization, 2007). Notwithstanding this global mobility, evidence of global citizenry and the tolerance it purportedly promotes is far from ubiquitous. In this paper we argue that although engagement with other cultures is a central tenet of global citizenship, it is not an inherent outcome of tourism. This idea has long been of concern to scholars of the tourist experience. Some time ago, Krippendorf (1982, p. 142) raised concerns about the outcomes of tourist-host contact stating: “Tourists demonstrate behaviour and attitudes which can evoke mistrust, resignation and aggressive dissatisfaction in the [host] population”. More recently, MacCannell (2001, p. 380) has noted “the awkward and difficult quality of cross-cultural understanding in settings that are organized for tourist visits”. However, new ‘ethical’ tourism practices (Butcher & Smith, 2010) emerging from a greater global awareness and a motivation that is counter to mass tourism are, arguably, more cosmopolitan in basis. Volunteer tourism is one form of ethical tourism that is growing in popularity and has been presented in the literature as a form of alternative tourism that creates the kinds of encounters that foster mutual understanding and respect (Wearing, 2001). There is a growing literature on international volunteer tourism, however, that questions its foundation on social consciousness and cross-cultural understanding. For Raymond and Hall (2008) cross-cultural understanding is by no means a given outcome. Similarly, Nyaupane, Teye, and Paris (2008, p. 652) state that “contact alone will not necessarily provide a positive cross-cultural experience”. Simpson, 2004 and Simpson, 2005 suggests that existing stereotypes may actually be reinforced thereby deepening dichotomies. Others question the reciprocal benefits of such cross-cultural interaction given the inherent complexities of significant cultural (and economic) divides and, more importantly, the dearth of research on host community experiences (see McGehee and Andereck, 2009 and Woosnam and Lee, 2011). Sin (2009) argues that volunteer tourists are motivated more by a desire ‘to travel’ than by a desire ‘to contribute’, and that they often regard aid-recipients as inferior. He found that “many volunteer tourists are typically more interested in fulfilling objectives relating to the ‘self’” (Sin, 2009, p. 497). This particular finding critiques the altruistic motivations that earlier research had claimed as a key foundation of volunteer tourism (see Wearing, 2001). Butcher and Smith (2010, p. 33), although more positive, have also explored the notion of the ‘self’ in volunteer tourism, finding that “the ‘desire to make a difference’ … [has become] connected to lifestyle … [and] closely linked to a narrative of personal growth”. The purpose of this paper is to add another critical perspective to this debate by examining the valorisation of cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect through volunteer tourism particularly as it manifests in the recent development of gap year volunteer tourism programs and policies for young people in the Australian context. We critically explore gap year volunteer tourism and the hegemony of a neoliberal ethos that has coopted it that is inimical to broadening cross-cultural understanding and global citizenry. Global citizenship, cosmopolitanism and moralism in tourism Global citizenship is regarded as a ‘product’ of globalisation and is closely related to the concept of cosmopolitanism (Carter, 2004). Cosmopolitanism has its roots in ancient Greece and is underpinned by the central goal of harmonious relations between the people of the world. It has long described a moral position that celebrates cultural diversity and human rights and an active concern for the needs of others (Carter, 2004). Thus, a ‘cosmopolitan’—inherently outward-looking—“maintains a global perspective upon obligations owed to others, whatever their race, religion, ethnicity, social status, or their connection to a nation-state” (Stokes, 2008, p. 3). It is little wonder that travel to other cultures—to learn about them—is a strong underpinning of the cosmopolitan sensibility and perhaps the best way for individuals to outwardly demonstrate their claims to global citizenship. Cosmopolitanism, understood in this sense as the celebration of cultural distinction, is, however, somewhat at odds with tourism because of tourism’s well-established acculturation effect. That is, the inevitable “adaptation [which occurs] under the influence of commercialization” (Krippendorf, 1982, p. 142) and the domination of the touring cultures over traditional ones. The rise of politically correct ‘new tourism’ or Butcher and Smith (2010) ‘New Moral Tourist’ signals the widespread recognition that tourism is damaging to host cultures and their environments. For the touring nations this means that tourism is no longer an innocent pleasure, hence the emergence of tourism that attempts to minimise negative impacts or somehow ‘give back’, such as volunteer tourism. Butcher and Smith (2010) have linked volunteering, in general, with the development of citizenship and international volunteering with a sense of global citizenship. Indeed, such a link is also being made at national policy levels particularly in developed nations around the world. In this paper we consider how this has played out in Australia where global citizenship has sat awkwardly alongside a dominant neoliberal political ideology during the past two decades.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The points we raise in this paper challenge fundamental but largely untested assumptions about gap year travel in general and more specifically as it manifests as a form of volunteer tourism. It is evident that a number of questions remain unanswered: does an experience where gap year tourists interact with community members from different cultures actually change the tourist’s world view? More specifically, does the use of direct volunteer tourism experiences create the basis for a less racist or stereotypical perception of other cultures? That is, does the gap year reduce the way we ‘other’ developing country cultures? We conclude here by suggesting that despite the rhetoric that links gap year tourism with global citizenship such an association remains empirically unsupported. The following highlights the limitations of the research conducted on gap year tourism and volunteer tourism specifically. Gap year tourism has gained wide recognition and approval in developed countries, particularly in British society in recent years. It is not surprising, therefore, that scholars have predominately focused on the phenomenon in the British context (Heath, 2007, Jones, 2004, Jones, 2005, Simpson, 2004 and Simpson, 2005). As such, studies that have been conducted on gap year tourism so far are limited in size and scope and are almost exclusively based on data collected in the UK. Another major limitation of empirical research thus far conducted into gap year tourism is that where survey-based studies are used, they tend to use small sample sizes that do not support generalisable analyses of the relationships between participant backgrounds, the broader impact of their gap year experience and the nature and structure of the tourism activity undertaken. Furthermore, there has been little academic investigation into whether gap year tourism, even when it incorporates volunteering, may actually hinder career development. Indeed, Jones’ (2008) work on this issue questions whether medical students (such as junior doctors) could be committing career suicide by taking this time off. Leigh’s (2006) critical analysis of the process of reassimilation into home environments upon return from an overseas volunteering experience also suggests that the skill development advantages of the gap year is unfounded. Volunteer tourism has been described as a powerful tool for social development and an agent for sustainable growth (McGehee & Santos, 2005), particularly in developing nations (Wearing, 2001). The existing research in this area is limited to examining the challenges and issues faced by NGOs that develop volunteer projects in developing countries. However, there is a dearth of research on the fast-growing supply of commercial volunteer tourism products. There is virtually no empirical data that describes the practices or impacts of commercial volunteer tourism activities outside of the anecdotal and critical/theoretical work that posits NGO-based volunteer tourism as ‘all good’ and corporate and commercial interests as ‘all bad’ (cf. Ponting et al., 2005 and Wearing and McDonald, 2002). Moreover, there is insufficient research that explores the supply of gap year services as they manifest in specific cultural contexts (Lyons & Wearing, 2008). To date, research on host communities is still relatively limited and focuses primarily on the voices of NGOs and community leaders. We suggest that this research needs expanding and should explore the voices of under-represented stakeholders such as minority groups in villages where gap year tourists and volunteers may inadvertently act to further marginalise them. We also argue that host community impacts are under-researched. Little is known about the short and long term social, economic, and cultural benefits that gap year tourism and volunteer tourism brings. It is evident that the little research which has emerged on gap year tourism is somewhat ad-hoc and currently lacks a coordinated framework for further development. Moreover, the qualitative case studies that dominate volunteer tourism research rely heavily upon snowball and convenience sampling rather than being driven by criterion-based purposive sampling. There is a need for research to be conducted that quantitatively analyses broad-based survey data for relationships between the range of variables that affect volunteer tourism experiences while providing a foundation for a criterion-driven qualitatively rich examination of how those relationships manifest. Proponents of gap year volunteer tourism argue that it instils in participants an openness to and acceptance of other cultures, and fosters notions of cultural sensitivity, cultural awareness and empathy towards others that together enables them to develop capacities, attributes and values apposite to a global citizenry (Callanan and Thomas, 2005 and Matthews, 2008). We have argued here that while pathways to global citizenship may exist within the context of gap year tourism through volunteer programs, the cooptation of this form of travel by the neoliberal agenda is becoming increasingly evident. The current gap year volunteer industry does not address issues of Western privilege and power, and actively promotes the “simplistic binaries of ‘us and them’” (Simpson, 2004, p. 690) thereby perpetuating the inequalities associated with colonialism. We suggest that to disturb this status quo it is of crucial importance that researchers develop empirical evidence that can provide a deep and critical understanding of gap year volunteer tourism. This evidence is essential for informing the best practices of NGOs, commercial service providers and governments that develop in gap year volunteer tourists competencies and capabilities of global citizenry.