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Class and global citizenship: perspectives from non-elite young people’s participation in volunteer tourism

Cheung Judge, R; (2017) Class and global citizenship: perspectives from non-elite young people’s participation in volunteer tourism. Tourism Recreation Research , 42 (2) pp. 164-175. 10.1080/02508281.2017.1303894. Green open access

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Abstract

Who is ‘the global citizen?’. The ideals of global citizenship surrounding volunteer tourism have come under criticism for being invoked in universalising ways, whilst in fact expressing privilege. The assumption in these critiques of the global citizen as ‘western, white, middle or upper class, educated, connected’ overlooks the diversification of subjects taking part in volunteer tourism, even as it illuminates that we should question the idea of singular, abstract global citizen. This paper – drawing on research with trips run by youth groups based on UK council estates travelling to sub-Saharan Africa – uses perspectives on classed experiences of volunteering to offer some provocations. Firstly, it argues that it is inadequate to invoke a homogeneous figure of the ‘privileged volunteer’. Secondly, there is need for more work that asks how contemporary imaginings of ‘good works’ in the global south are constitutive of subjectivities and exert a political force in the global north, in various ways for particularly positioned subjects. The paper argues that for some subjects, popular ideals of ‘global cosmopolitan citizenship’ are being drawn into longer-standing projects of reform of the national citizen. However, studying volunteer tourism in practice always reveals ambivalent potential for more emancipatory dynamics and expressions of ‘cosmopolitan empathy’.

Type: Article
Title: Class and global citizenship: perspectives from non-elite young people’s participation in volunteer tourism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02508281.2017.1303894
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2017.1303894
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Volunteer tourism, global citizenship, class, youth
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1565565
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