Blogging slum tourism: A critical discourse analysis of travel blogs

Meghan Muldoon, Heather Mair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Modern slum tourism, rooted in the social justice movements of South Africa and Brazil in the early 1990s, has become an increasingly popular practice among tourists looking for experiences off the beaten path. Unsurprisingly, a form of tourism that allows wealthy travelers to experience the "reality" of how poor people live has elicited criticism and controversy. Slum tourism has been lauded as an innovative economic opportunity for poor urban neighborhoods and has been condemned for promoting poverty voyeurism. The first author undertook a critical discourse analysis in the winter of 2013-2014, analyzing slum tourism discourse in travel blogs. Eighteen travel blogs and 36 blogs postings were analyzed using a Foucauldian critical discourse perspective. The study found that travel bloggers use a number of structures of authority and structures of responsibility to convince their readers of the value of this touristic practice and the integrity of the travelers who would choose to participate in slum tourism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-479
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Analysis
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Critical discourse analysis (CDA)
  • Michel Foucault
  • Responsible tourism
  • Slum tourism
  • Travel blogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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