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Identity Development through Volunteer Tourism: A qualitative study of WWOOF volunteers’ identity formation
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Tourism is a fast growing phenomenon. As every person has a different motivation to travel new and alternative forms of tourism are continuously developing. Depending on form of tourism and the tourist’s motivation to take on a certain trip, the experience has a smaller or bigger impression on the individual.

This study examines what influences volunteer trips can have on identities, focusing on volunteers in the organization WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. To understand the development of identities, theories about identity work have been researched. The material derives from a participant observation and 14 semi-structured interviews that mainly were conducted in Oregon, USA.

The analysis of the results reveals four main themes for how the individuals’ identities have changed and what factors that have caused this change. These themes are perceived change, cultural exchange, significance of place, and differences between WWOOFers and other tourists. The study shows that travels, in this case volunteer trips, affect individuals in many ways.

Abstract [sv]

Turism är ett snabbt växande fenomen. Eftersom varje person har egna motiv till att resa utvecklas ständigt nya och alternativa resformer. Vilket avtryck resan gör på individen beror på vald turismform samt turistens motiv till att åka på en viss resa.

Denna studie syftar till att undersöka vilka influenser en volontärresa kan ha på individen, med fokus på volontärer som reser genom organisationen WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. För att förstå hur identiteter utvecklas har identitetsteorier tillämpats på materialet. Materialet kommer från en deltagande observation och 14 semistrukturerade intervjuer som övervägande gjorts i Oregon, USA.

Analysen av resultatet visade på fyra teman för hur volontärers identiteter påverkats. Dessa var upplevd förändring, kulturellt utbyte, platsens betydelse och hur volontärturisterna skiljer sig från andra turister. Studien visar därmed på att resor, i detta fall volontärresor, påverkar individen på flera olika sätt.

Abstract [fr]

Le tourisme est un phénomène en pleine expansion. Chaque personne a un motivation différent pour voyager, donc des nouvelles formes et des formes alternatives du tourisme se développent continuellement. La forme du tourisme et le motivation du touriste déterminent l’effet du voyage sur l’individu.  Cette étude examine l’influence des voyages bénévoles sur les identités des bénévoles, avec un foyer sur les bénévoles dans l’organisation WWOOF--World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (Occasions Mondial sur les Fermes Biologiques). Pour comprendre le développement des identités, il faut rechercher les théories d'identité. Ces matériaux dérivent de l’observation participante et 14 interviews semi-structurées, la plupart qui était menée en Oregon, aux États-Unis.  L'analyse des résultats révèlent quatre thèmes principaux pour comment les identités des individus ont changé, et quels facteurs ont causé ces changements. Ces thèmes sont les changements perçu, l'échange culturel, l’importance de l’endroit, et les différences entre les bénévoles de WWOOF et des autres touristes. Cette étude montre que les voyages, en ce cas les voyages bénévoles, touchent les individus dans plusieurs façons. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 36 p.
Keyword [en]
volunteer, tourism, identity formation, WWOOF, volontär, turism, identitetsarbete, WWOOF
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85646ISRN: LIU-ISAK/TU-G-12/0001-SEOAI: diva2:572242
Subject / course
Tourism Programme
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-11-27 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2012-11-27Bibliographically approved

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