Volunteer Tourism : How the public opinion has changed and how Post-development ideas are shaping the discourse on volunteer tourism

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: Volunteer tourism is a globally, popular and well-known field in which anyone may participate. During recent years the industry has increasingly received some criticism, in contrast to the otherwise quite commonly positive view of it. Hence, this thesis is taking a closer look at the industry and the discourse surrounding it and how the public opinion has changed during the last years. It will bring into light the impact volunteer tourism has both on the local communities and the volunteer tourists themselves. This will be done with respect to the following cases; positive, critical and seeing both sides of the discourse. The data derives from secondary and tertiary sources, the majority from articles from four of the world’s biggest newspapers. Post-Development theory will be used to identify the ideas regarding the discourse, which will be done with an approach of structured, focused comparison and critical discourse analysis. Additionally it will aim to identify the pros and cons with volunteer tourism and discuss why one of the perspectives might require more attention than it has had up until now. Significantly though, it will aim to provide the reader with an overall and objective view of the field. 

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