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  • 1.
    Boluk, Karla
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Human Geography.
    Fair trade tourism South Africa: consumer virtue or moral selving2011In: Journal of Ecotourism, ISSN 1472-4049, E-ISSN 1747-7638, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 235-249Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The academic focus on tourism impacts has raised questions regarding stakeholder responsibility. From a consumption perspective, many ethical consumers, by enacting their political and moral concerns through their consumer choice demonstrate their virtuous qualities and at the same time construct themselves as ethical. Ethical consumption and the consumption of Fairtrade, Fair Trade Tourism and Fair Trade Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) – which derived from Pro-Poor Tourism and ecotourism principles –, are embedded into a cultural context of global consumer capitalism. This macro discourse informs the way people think about the extent of their responsibility, what constitutes a fair exchange, and how they construct themselves as ethical consumers. Ethical consumption, although virtuous can then be described as a form of conspicuous consumption because consumption in its self is a hedonistic act especially when one uses ethical consumption as a mechanism to demonstrate one's ‘ethical self’. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with eleven FTTSA travellers in December–February of 2009 at two FTTSA businesses. The paper employed Critical Discourse Analysis to explore some of the tensions between consumer virtue and the hedonistic behaviours of the informants. The aim of this paper is to investigate the notion of moral selving in the context of ethical travel and in particular FTTSA. Results revealed that motivations for participation in ethical consumption and travel are varied and sometimes influenced by the appeal of moral selving.

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