“The White Man’s Burden”: Politics of Volunteer Tourism


This conceptual paper explores critically the political economy of volunteer tourism along the lines of a 'white savior complex' and argues that the meanings, practices, and policies of volunteer tourism development continue to be informed by colonial thought, resulting in disempowerment of the rural populations in the Third World and making volunteer tourism an avenue to exert power and exploit the Orient as the West's pleasure periphery. This study contributes to tourism social science research by trying to understand how 'race' (white privilege) has shaped systems of inclusion and exclusion through ideological and epistemological practices and as such critically analyzing different aspects of racialized discourses in volunteer tourism.

Author Information
Ranjan Bandyopadhyay, Mahidol University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2016
Stream: Humanities - Political Science, Politics

This paper is part of the ACAH2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon