Volontärerna: Internationellt hjälparbete från missionsorganisationer till volontärresebyråer.
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
A new form of foreign travel called “voluntourism” has emerged in Sweden. In
advertisements that invite to “make a difference”, travel agencies promote short term
aid opportunities at for example orphanages or schools in Africa, Asia, and
Latin America. International volunteer work is nothing new. Rather, the volunteer
agencies have entered an old and established organizational field. Using theories of
new institutionalism and the analytical phrase “the story about”, this thesis
investigates the way international aid work originated and evolved, and how
commercial volunteer agencies entered the field. The thesis is partly based on
historical data from organizational reports, biographies of aid work icons, and
interviews with volunteers active during the 1960s and 1970s. Additionally, it
makes use of contemporary data from interviews with representatives from
volunteer travel agencies and volunteers. It also includes an analysis of how the
travel agencies present their business operations on their websites.
The thesis concludes that travel agencies apply the common perception of
international aid work’s characteristics when marketing volunteer travels. This
common perception can be traced through the evolution of international aid work.
Travel agencies attract volunteers by offering access to this exclusive field. The
volunteers are well-educated young women from middle class families. They are
looking for experiences from international aid work, perspective on their own
lives, and first-hand knowledge of local and traditional societies in poor countries.
Nevertheless, due to the esteem in which the organizational field is viewed, a brief
period spent as an aid worker is considered a desirable qualification for a job
applicant. I interpret volunteer travel as a “grand tour”.
Key words: volontourism, international aid work, volunteers, organizational field,
the grand tour
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö, Kalmar: Linnaeus University Press, 2012. , 240 p.
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 82/2012
volontourism, international aid work, volunteers, organizational field, the grand tour
volontärresor, volontärer, volontärresebyråer, hjälparbete, internationellt hjälparbete, missionärer, NGO:s, hjälporganisationer, ideella organisationer, organisatoriska fält, bildningsresa
Research subject Social Sciences, Social Work
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-18231ISBN: 978-91-86983-44-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-18231DiVA: diva2:514143
2012-04-27, Myrdal, Hus K, Växjö, 10:15 (Swedish)
Lindberg, Staffan, Professor
Salonen, Tapio, ProfessorHorneman Møller, Iver, Professor