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HomeRethinking structuring dichotomies of social sciences through the field of tourism

Rethinking structuring dichotomies of social sciences through the field of tourism

Repenser les dichotomies structurantes des sciences sociales au regard de l'objet tourisme

International young researcher conference of the UNESCO "Cutlure, Tourism and Development" chair

Rencontres internationales des jeunes chercheurs de la Chaire UNESCO « Culture, Tourisme et Développement »

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Published on Thursday, November 08, 2012


Cet appel à participation s’adresse à tous les doctorant(e)s et jeunes docteur(e)s qui interrogent, directement ou indirectement, les dynamiques, les systèmes et les mobilités, touristiques et de loisirs, ainsi que les groupes sociaux et les territoires dans lesquels ils s’inscrivent. L’objectif des rencontres n’est pas de présenter individuellement son travail de thèse, mais de travailler ensemble sur des angles transversaux de réflexion. Il s’agit donc de proposer un positionnement de recherche, méthodologique et / ou épistémologique, contribuant à réinterroger les couples conceptuels fréquemment utilisés dans les études sur le tourisme. Nous invitons également les jeunes chercheurs(euses) travaillant à la marge de l’objet tourisme à se joindre à cette réflexion.



Tourism, as a singular system, a specific time-space characterized by a rupture with the everyday, is the object of a field of research that has long been structured through oppositions: between Here and Away, the ordinary and the extra-ordinary, the self and the other, the authentic and the artificial, etc. In doing so, it has contributed to the theoretical dichotomizations that appear across the social sciences. During this meeting, we wish to question these polarizations, and to show how contemporary research about tourism can help to think them anew and to think beyond them.

As young researchers, we are fully engaged in the debates that constantly redefine our disciplines. We work with recognized objects, notions, theoretical and methodological approaches, but we also aim to go beyond them to embody the renewal of social sciences. Therefore, we invite young researchers to show how they mobilize the debates that animate the social sciences to think about tourism as an object of research, and, on the other hand, how their research on tourism raises questions about the categories of thinking in the social sciences.

This call for participation applies to post-graduate and young researchers who interrogate, directly or indirectly, tourism and leisure dynamics, systems and mobilities, as well as the social groups and territories involved. The aim of this meeting is not to present the individual research projects of each presenter per se, but to share different perspectives for reflection. The participants are invited to propose an epistemological and/or methodological approach, that will enable a re-interrogation of the conceptual pairs frequently mobilized in tourism studies. We also invite young researches working on themes related to tourism studies to join this reflection.

We invite four kinds of contribution to the event, in order to encourage a diversity of exchanges:

  • A scientific paper
  • A critical scientific book review, emphasizing how the young researcher mobilizes the author’s ideas in their own work
  • A photograph or a set of photographs (documentary or artistic)
  • A film (scientific, documentary or artistic)

 Scientific issues

We invite participants to consider the three following structuring dichotomies that research on tourism particularly calls in to question.


The dichotomy between mobility and territoriality has structured different fields of social sciences over a long period, through the gap – partially accentuated by discourses about globalization – between territorial emplacement of identities, individuals and societies on the one hand, and flux, often perceived as threatening, on the other hand. In that perspective, two traditions are opposed: on the one hand, a field of research engaged in the analysis of the impacts of tourism (through the diffusion of tourist stereotypes, phenomenon of folklorization and commodification of cultural traditions) and, on the other hand, a more recent approach, concerned with the deconstruction of binary thinking in tourism and aiming to show the role of tourism in the revitalization of local and cultural identities, the renewal of “collective memories”, and the production of territorial knowledge (through heritage making), thus describing a new regime of reflexive territoriality.

In cultural studies, attention is increasingly focused on circulation phenomenon and mobilities, which leads, in a post-colonial context, to interrogate anew the different categories of the Self and the Other, of Here and Away. The emergence of a new paradigm, one of mobility (among all a social injunction), requires the reframing of analytical tools and methodologies (e.g. multi-sited ethnology). Our wish to rethink the relation between the production of the local and the networks of flux takes place within this context and we aim to go beyond the territorial paradigm (identity/culture/territory). There is a deep dichotomy between circulation and resistance processes (through the mediation of iconography or museography for example), between transactional spaces (flux, capitals, information) and territory. In what way can tourism studies contribute to move beyond this opposition between mobility and territoriality and to think both of notions in a co-productive relationship ?

In addition, the emergence of the notion of mobile life-styles/individus polytopiques, engaged within a continuum of mobilities, invites us to rethink the rupture between the mundane and the extra-ordinary, between liminality and everyday life. Are tourist mobilities distinct from the everyday, allowing a release of everyday constraints, or should we consider how the everyday and social norms travel with the individual? In what ways can we talk about mobile territoriality? How do circulation and emplacement articulate with each other? How is it possible to understand the role of tourism time-spaces in the production of identities at the individual scale? For example, we wish to interrogate the relevance of the categories of classification of tourist mobilities (business tourism, educative travel…) or the role of tourism as a specific time-space in the life of individuals, taking account of the work of mobility studies (e.g. diasporic, transnational mobilities, multi-scalar processes within the production of individual identities, etc.).


Many authors associate the emergence of a noticeably new world (post-modern, hyper-modern, etc.) with a paradigm shift, embodied by the transition from a society of production to a society of consumption. In this context, consumption replaces production as an explicatory factor of the main socio-economic dynamics of the contemporary world. The relevance of the binary dichotomy between processes of production and of consumption is disputed. Talking about objects or spaces of consumption implies that these spaces are created – or produced – to be consumed, consumption being the ultimate goal, the actualization of the process, while this process actually appears as the result of a much larger movement, whose roots can be traced back to the production of objects or spaces.

Tourism is a relevant field to question this dichotomy. Tourism activity has been conceived as a match between produced objects – the object, the resource, or the place said to be “touristic”, even sometimes the cultures and populations – and consuming subjects – the tourists –. Some researchers study the production of territories while others analyze their consumption by tourists. Rethinking this division can allow us to interrogate anew the elements that are produced for tourist consumption, including the power and domination relationships implied by these processes, at different scales (tourist imaginaries, sexual tourism, exploitation, domestic mobilities in poor countries, heritage and architecture of tourist places, authenticity, the role of new medias…). This issue, of the production of tourism, calls for a reflection about the world of labor in this sector, as well as the tension between offer and demand for tourist products (experiential marketing, ready-to-consume environments, tourist bubbles, cultural spaces dedicated to consumption and other hybrid places…). The analysis of the emergence of new forms of tourism (community-based tourism, creative tourism) could also be a relevant perspective to interrogate this dichotomy (productions of tourists themselves, pictures, videos, narratives of travel, the use of social networks, blogs).


The dialectic between the mind and the body is one of the most powerful dichotomies in the field of social sciences. It has been particularly active in the way tourism has been thought of as a system that recreates individuals. The predominance of a conception of tourism as a gaze on the world concentrated attention on the issue of tourist and cultural imaginaries and on the commodification of places and cultures, sometimes avoiding the material conditions of experience and its corporeal dimension.

The question of the links between individual and collective representations and effective tourist practices remains more relevant than ever. But the input of more-than-representational theories and performance studies now allows us to think about these relations not only as a simple actualization but to understand the processes of co-production of identities (spatial, sexual, national, transnational, territorial…) and otherness, for example through exoticization.

Going beyond this ideal/material dichotomy, we can also call into question the main territorial narratives (folklorization, story-telling, urban projects, heritage making…) including their materiality and the power and domination relationships that derive from these ways of producing space (selectivity, privatization, exclusion, marginalization of some populations). Biopolitical perspectives now offer a theoretical way to read material tourist devices (e.g. tourist enclaves and resorts) to understand the psychological and physical framing of individuals within the context of leisure societies and the normalization of bodies and minds (e.g. through the links between colonialism, fascism, socialism and tourism, but also through the framing devices of mass consumption).


  • To propose a scientific paper:

Send a proposal (half a page to one page), presenting the theme, the research question, and the proposed approach.

  • To propose a book review:

Send a book review proposal (half a page to one page), indicating the selected book and its interest for the issues identified for the meeting, as well as the way you take this thought into account in your own work.

  • To propose a photograph or a set of photographs:

You are free to express your creativity. The only constraint is the material form, which must be A1 (80x60cm). This surface can be used for one or several photographs, as you wish. The proposal of participation (half a page to one page) must present a title, a research question and the context of production of the project.   

  • To propose a film:

The films will be digital, and projected through a computer (PC or Mac), through a video-projector, on a white screen. The proposal of participation (half a page to one page) must present an abstract of the film, a research question, the context of production of the film, the date and the duration of the film, the name of the author/director/producer as relevant.

All the proposals must be sent to the scientific coordinators:

Linda Boukhris: lindaboukhris@voila.fr and Amandine Chapuis: amandine.chapuis@gmail.com

The author’s name and position in the academic field must be presented separately from the text.


The proposals must be sent before the 4th of March 2013.

The scientific committee’s responses will be sent to the participants around the 20th of May 2013.

The texts and the photographs will have to be sent before July the 15th 2013, to ensure that the organizing committee is able to prepare the debates.

Supporting slide-shows must be in English and should be sent before September the 2nd of 2013, for distribution via the meeting’s website.

Practical information

  • Valuation and dissemination of the meeting:

All the outputs of the meeting will be available online on the University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne web site, with the agreement of the authors. The organizers will support the best contributions towards publication in quality peer-review scientific journals, to maximize the value of the event, within the frame of the professional itinerary of each young researcher.

  • Official languages of the meeting:

We accept contributions in French, English and Spanish. However, there will be no simultaneous translation (due to financial costs). Participants may choose their language of communication, but they are invited to propose a slide-show, in English, to support their intervention and the discussion (projected during the intervention and available online). We invite the participants to adopt linguistic flexibility during the event.

 Scientific committee

  • Simone Abram, (Anthropology, Urban Studies), Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
  • Natanael Reis Bomfim, (Education), Universidade do Estado da Bahia, Brazil
  • Jean-Michel Chapuis, (Management), EIREST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Saskia Cousin, (Anthropology, Sociology), EIREST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Géraldine Djament, (Geography), Université de Strasbourg, France
  • Jean Estebanez, (Geography), Université de Paris-Est Créteil, France
  • Jean-Christophe Gay, (Geography), Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France
  • Maria Gravari-Barbas, (Geography), EIREST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Patrizia Ingallina, (Urban Planning), Université Lille 1 Sciences et Technologies, Institut d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme de Lille, France
  • Sébastien Jacquot, (Geography), EIREST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Claudio Minca, (Geography), Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • Stéphane Nahrath, (Political Studies), Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch, Sion, Switzerland
  • Sylvain Pattieu, (History), Université Paris 8, France
  • Emmanuelle Peyvel, (Geography), Institut d’Asie Orientale de Lyon, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France
  • David Picard, (Anthropology), CRIA, Universidade nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Virginie Picon-Lefebvre, (Architecture), Ecole d'architecture de Paris-Malaquais, LIAT, France
  • Chiara Rabbiosi, (Geography, Sociology, Urban Planning), Scuola Superiore di Scienze Turistiche di Rimini, Italy
  • Bertrand Réau, (Sociology), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Sébastien Roux, (Sociology), CNRS, CESSP, France
  • Noël Salazar, (Anthropology), University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Jean-François Staszak, (Geography), Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • Mathis Stock, (Geography), Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch, Sion, Switzerland
  • Luc Vacher, (Geography), Université de La Rochelle, France
  • Sylvain Venayre, (History), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre d'Histoire du XIXème siècle, France
  • Myriam Watthee-Delmotte, (Litterature), Université de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Scientific coordination

  • Linda Boukhris, (Geography), PhD Student EIREST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France, Visiting Student Researcher, University of Berkeley, California
  • Amandine Chapuis, (Geography), PhD Student EIREST, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ATER, Université Paris-Est Créteil, France

Organizing committee

  • Linda Boukhris,
  • Amandine Chapuis,
  • Sandra Guinand,
  • Sylvie Jolly,
  • Anne-Cécile Mermet,
  • Diana Oliveira,
  • Cécile Renard,
  • Priscilla Sambadoo,
  • Maxime Weigert.


  • Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris
    Paris, France (75)


  • Monday, March 04, 2013


  • tourisme, dichotomies, sciences sociales, jeunes chercheurs, rencontres internationales


  • Linda Boukhris
    courriel : Linda [dot] boukhris [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr
  • Amandine Chapuis
    courriel : amandine [dot] chapuis [at] u-pec [dot] fr

Information source

  • Linda Boukhris
    courriel : Linda [dot] boukhris [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Rethinking structuring dichotomies of social sciences through the field of tourism », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, November 08, 2012, https://doi.org/10.58079/lzh

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