A Brief Debate on Alienation, Authenticity, and Tourism

A Brief Debate on Alienation, Authenticity, and Tourism

Onur Sevket Yildiz, Duygu Eren
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1474-0.ch002
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The purpose of this chapter is to present a brief discussion on alienation and closely related topics and their relation to tourism. Although there is not any consensus on the definition and content of alienation, there are a variety of thoughts on the issue. Alienation could be defined as the state or perception of powerlessness, meaninglessness, and estrangement from both the society and the self. As an industry and social phenomenon, tourism is an interesting domain of research for alienation studies. Work alienation and relation of work to the alienation are also discussed due to the increased significance of work especially after industrial revolution. After some debate on authenticity, which could be regarded as a derivative of alienation, some recommendations are made for future research.
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Discussions on work alienation or alienation’s relation to work usually start with referring to Marx’s thoughts on the issue (see e.g. Mottaz, 1981; Nair and Vohra, 2009; Chiaburu et al., 2014). This is quite understandable when Marx’s critical views on capitalism are considered. Seeman’s (1959) study is also among influential works (Chiaburu et al., 2014). Marx was one of those who brought Hegel’s views on alienation more into economic system and its social implications (Shantz, Alfes, Bailey, and Soane, 2015). Many arguments, one of which is alienation, could be built on the industrialization and the major changes it brought to the society. However, alienation is not an issue that could be discussed only in relation to capitalist or industrialized societies. As also indicated above, the wide scope of alienation makes it relevant to almost anything.

Nair and Vohra (2009) mention that the focus of alienation studies has usually been on blue-collar or factory workers and they indicate the relative ignorance of service industries such as tourism. It might be because of the very basic critical views, such as Marx’s, that have been developed in relatively earlier phases of industrial age or capitalism.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Authenticity: It is the quality of being genuine, not fake or pseudo. When it comes to relationships, it can be observed as sincerity. It is usually controversial in commercial settings.

Alienation: Alienation usually refers to the state or perception of powerlessness, meaninglessness, and estrangement from both the society and the self. It is useful to note that there is not a consensus on the definition and the content of alienation yet.

Work Alienation: In the briefest terms, it refers to work-related alienation. There are efforts on distinguishing work alienation from the other forms of it.

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