The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice. Clevedon, UK: Channel View

By Ross, Glenn F. | Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, April 2005 | Go to article overview

The Global Nomad: Backpacker Travel in Theory and Practice. Clevedon, UK: Channel View


Ross, Glenn F., Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management


Richards, G., & Wilson, J. (2004).

The systematic study of backpacker travellers has now become a recognised and valuable branch of tourism scholarship. It has, however, been viewed by some as relatively inchoate in terms of research directions and systematic findings. This book would seem to represent a valuable contribution to the disciplinary parameters, the classificatory systems and dissemination of research findings; the volume is also a useful exercise in the explication of a recent major international survey of backpacker characteristics, motivations and behaviour, particularly as the findings may shed light on the social construction of backpacker travel. The book is in four parts. The first section consists of two chapters, an initial contribution that basically represents an introduction to the topic of backpackers as global nomads; it presents three perspectives by which backpacker research may be viewed: experiential change over time and life stage, decision-making processes such as destination choice and travel modes, and finally future perspectives including traveller motivation and preference changes.

The second chapter in the section is a comprehensive presentation of results from the international survey of backpacker motivations and behaviours. The second section of the book contains a wealth of diverse and relevant material. It commences with a chapter examining changes in the conceptualisation of backpacking, arguing that it has gradually changed from that of drifter group to a more disparate segment, many of whose members now more closely resemble the conventional traveller, albeit often from a younger age group. This section is also comprised of chapters on theoretical perspectives regarding backpacker literature, antitourist elements within backpacker identity construction, anthropological understandings of the backpacker role, the potency of home-nation socialisation processes in the formation of backpacker identity and outlook, and the salience of literary icons in the formation of backpacker cognitive styles. …

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