9 March 2011

Call for Papers: Narratives of Risk, Security and Disaster Issues in Tourism and Hospitality

A special issue of International Journal of Tourism Anthropology

This special issue invites submissions with a focus and emphasis on narratives of risk, hazard and security issues in the fields of tourism and hospitality.

The world’s tourism industry has experienced a dramatic growth over the last thirty years. The economic impact of tourism together with its proximal causes has rendered the tourism industry into a highly significant and integral part of almost every national economy. As a result, national governments are concentrating on the continuous development of their tourism industries, and are capitalising on their efforts for higher quality and service standards.

Tourism is an integral part of society, both for individuals within the society and for the society as a whole. However, despite the attention that has been given to the tourism industry and the emphasis on continuous development and improvement, there are some factors that are uncontrollable which can exert a considerable and sometimes severe and adverse impact on the tourism industry.

In the last fifty years, tourism has been adversely affected by a wide range of problems – natural disasters, serious social conflicts, wars, economic crises and terrorism. The effects of these events have underlined that the symbiotic relationship between risks/security issues and tourism needs to be understood and acted upon, not just in terms of the fluctuation in tourism statistics but also in a broader interdisciplinary framework. This will ultimately allow the expansion of the current understanding of the anthropological and sociological nature of risk. In the aftermath of the attacks to World Trade Center in 2001, numerous and valuable studies have certainly emphasised risk as a primary concern and topic, but their quantitative perspective do not focus on the narrative of risk or “discourse of risk”.

From the contributions of Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildawski onwards, specialists in anthropology and ethnology have devoted considerable efforts to providing an all- encompassing framework that helps scholars to comprehend the nature of risk. As a social construct and something other than a probability, every culture elaborates its own conception of security and risk.

Following Malinowski´s contributions, security corresponds with a grounding function of culture which can be decoded to allow us to understand how a society is organised. For that reason, risk engenders its own narratives enrooted in the cultural values, expectations and frustrations of every society. Depending on the perspective, travelling is not only a form of entertainment but also a fertile source for panic and concern. This happens simply because travellers temporarily lose their epicenter of ontological security, thus feeling more vulnerable.

We consider ethnography as a suitable method of investigation for two main reasons. Firstly, it encompasses the complexity of emotions to understand the untangled net of discourses that risk encourages, ranging from fear to ethnocentrism. Secondly, there is a huge gap between what people manifest and what they do. This merits opening a new channel for the investigation of risk perception and security issues wherein anthropology and ethnology have much to say, in complement with other quantitative methods and disciplines.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Studies related to comparative cross-cultural perceptions of risk and threat
  • Natural and human-caused disasters
  • Post-disaster recovery strategies in tourism and hospitality
  • Terror movies and tourism
  • Aviation safety and security
  • Crime and security issues in tourism and hospitality
  • Political instability, terrorism and tourism
  • Thanatourism
  • War on terror and tourism.
  • The effects of global warming on tourism destinations
  • Innovative quantitative/qualitative methods for the study of risk and security issues in tourism and hospitality
  • Virus outbreaks and tourism Mobility
  • Disasters, trauma and tourism
  • Apocalyptic theories and tourism as a form of entertainment
Important Dates
Full paper due: 15 July 2011
Notification of acceptance/rejection to authors: 15 August 2011
Submission of revised manuscript: 15 October 2011
Final acceptance of manuscript: 15 November 2011

No comments: