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Learning from doing: a case study from young Chinese tourists in Nepal

Abstract : The relation between learning and tourism can appear contradictory and has so far not been fully explored and conceptualized by social sciences (Brougère, 2012). How do one learn to be a tourist and what is learnt from tourist experiences? Using the conceptual frameworks of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1997; Calleja, 2014) that put the stress on experiences, interactions with others and self-reflexivity, and of tourist experience (Cohen, 1979; Decroly (ed.), 2015; Juergen, 2016), this contribution aims at answering this question through an empirical case study of independent young Chinese tourists in Nepal. Rejecting group travels as they are seen as too intensive, boring and reserved to older generations, they’d rather travel in their own terms organizing themselves. However, as their travel career (Pearce and Lee, 1995) is nascent especially abroad - rarely have they travel with their parents - the question of learning how to engage in tourism environment is at stake. Through the processes of imitation and socialization with western young tourists as well as with the guidance of locals, they progressively experience the multiple extreme sports Nepal offers such as trekking, stand up paddling, rafting, paragliding. But not only do they learn to be tourist through these embodied experiences, the results of the on-going PhD research fieldwork in Nepal using sensory ethnography (Pink, 2009) and mobile methodology (Anderson, 2004; Jones (ed.) 2008) show that a new reflexivity and awareness springs from it likely to produce a critical look at their society and shed a new light on the self. ANDERSON J., 2004, « Talking whilst walking: a geographical archaeology of knowledge », Area, 1 septembre 2004, vol. 36, no 3, p. 254‑261. BROUGERE G., 2012, « Pratiques touristiques et apprentissages », Mondes du Tourisme, 1 juin 2012, no 5, p. 62‑75. CALLEJA C., 2014, « Jack Mezirow’s Conceptualisation of Adult Transformative Learning: A Review », Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 1 mai 2014, vol. 20, no 1, p. 117‑136. COHEN E., 1979, « A Phenomenology of Tourist Experiences », Sociology, 1 mai 1979, vol. 13, no 2, p. 179‑201. DECROLY J.-M. (ed.), 2015, Le tourisme comme expérience. Regards interdisciplinaires sur le vécu touristique, Presses universitaires du Quebec., Quebec, 343 p. JONES P., BUNCE G., EVANS J., GIBBS H. et HEIN J. R., 2008, « Exploring Space and Place With Walking Interviews », Journal of Research Practice, 1 janvier 2008, vol. 4, no 2, p. D2. MEZIROW J., 1997, « Transformative Learning: Theory to practice », New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 1997, vol. 74, p. 5‑12. PEARCE P. L. et LEE U.-I., 1995, « Developing the Travel Career Approach to Tourist Motivation », Journal of Travel Research, 1995, vol. 43, p. 226‑237. PINK S., 2009, Doing Sensory Ethnography, SAGE., London, 168 p.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01953298
Contributor : Marie Faulon <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 16, 2019 - 9:40:59 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 7:10:54 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01953298, version 1

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Marie Faulon. Learning from doing: a case study from young Chinese tourists in Nepal. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018, Aug 2018, Cardiff, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-01953298⟩

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