Volontärturism - en “win-win situation”?: En kvalitativ studie i hur volontärresor porträtteras på Instagram

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Sammanfattning: Volunteer tourism, mainly relating to travelling from countries in the global North to the global South, has emerged as a global trend and fast-growing tourism industry since the turn of the millennium 2000. In the globalized world of today, social media has become an easily accessible tool for travel agencies to market their volunteer travel. Whether the volunteer travels are commercial or non-profit, they have become focus for a social debate. In recent years, criticism has been raised whether volunteer tourists actually contribute to a positive change or not in the host communities. The purpose of this essay is to investigate how volunteer tourism is portrayed on social media based on a Swedish context and the impact of different power relationships on the descriptions provided. More specifically, the aim is to examine how the Swedish volunteer travel agency Volontärresor uses the social media platform Instagram to promote its Social projects. The posts that comprise a combination of images and text are analyzed through multimodal visual text analysis. By applying a postcolonial theoretical framework and its surrounding discourse regarding “the other” as well as narrative theory, the results show that different unequal power relations can be distinguished in the volunteer travel agency’s portrayal of volunteer tourism. By solely focusing on the importance and voices of the volunteers the narratives of the recipients of the volunteer work is thus excluded, leading to what is known as a colonial “us” and “them”-relationship. The essay is written in Swedish.

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