Travellers and their journeys: A dynamic conceptualization of transient migrants’ and backpackers’ behaviour and experiences on the road
until further notice
SourceMigration Studies, 3, 1, (2015), pp. 49-67
19 juni 2014
Article / Letter to editor
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Sociale geografie, ihb economische geografie
SubjectGlobal-Local Divides and Connections (GLOCAL)
In this article it is argued that ‘the journey’—as an embodied form of travel from one place to the other—is a fruitful analytical starting point to bring migration and tourism studies in closer dialogue with each other. With our focus on the ‘en route’ behaviour and experiences of two prototypical mobile figures (the transient migrant and the backpacker), we go beyond the usual categorical divisions of human mobility based on temporality (temporary tourists vs. long-term migrants) and politicization (welcomed tourists vs. unwanted migrants). With our empirical findings on migrants’ journeys and our analysis of published articles in tourism studies, we identify three aspects (personal transformation, social networking and risk taking) along which we conceptually mirror and merge the embodied journeys of the prototypical travellers. The analysis identifies relevant commonalities of different mobility processes and illustrates that individuals on the move easily jump over the categorical divide of migrants/tourists across time and space. We finally use these insights to contribute further to a mobility-driven research agenda in migration studies.
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