Theorizing the concept of alienation in tourism studies

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55 Scopus citations


The concept of alienation has been extensively analyzed outside tourism studies to understand human existence within society. Unlike the notion of authenticity-a complementary yet distinct term-alienation has been scarcely researched within tourism studies. Yet, as is argued in this paper, alienation adds theoretical depth to the sociological study of tourism and it also resituates discussions on authenticity within the context of capitalist relations of production, consumerism, and existentialism. The goal of this conceptual paper is two-fold. First, it discusses the evolution of the concept of alienation within sociology and cognate disciplines. Second, it addresses the applicability of the concept to tourism studies and proposes a working model to guide future examinations of the nexus between alienation and tourism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-199
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Alienation
  • Authenticity
  • Consumerism
  • Existentialism
  • Political economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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