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Alternative Tourism as Impetus for Consciousness-Raising

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This study develops and tests a theoretical model, drawing on social-psychological perspectives of social movement theory to explain changes in consciousness among Earthwatch expedition volunteers. Earthwatch expeditions are a form of alternative tourism in which volunteers participate in any of 126 different types of 10–14-day research-oriented field expeditions that may include evaluating the health of a coral reef, studying maternal health among West African women, assessing the killer whale population off the coast of Pugent Sound, or recording oral history in Dominica. A pretrip and posttrip survey of over 350 Earthwatch expedition volunteers conducted during the summer of 1998 reveals that both network ties established during an Earthwatch expedition and perceived self-efficacy gains during an Earthwatch expedition positively and significantly influence consciousness-raising. In other words, both the relationships established and the challenges overcome during an Earthwatch expedition increase participants' feelings about making purchases, reading books and magazines, and traveling, in accordance with their sense of political justice.
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Keywords: Alternative tourism;; Key words: Social movements

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 2: †Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Publication date: 2001-03-01

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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