A Socio Political Perspective to Tourism Studies: Proposing the Concept of Tourism Field

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:56
Oral Presentation
Thiago PIMENTEL, Federal University of Juiz de Fora / UFJF, Brazil
This theoretical article aims to propose the concept of “field”, derived from the sociological theory of Pierre Bourdieu, to tourism and explore some implications, from theoretical and practical orders, to tourist destinations. For this discussion, we first resort to the theoretical approach of the sociological theory of social fields of Pierre Bourdieu to deal with the social interactions that exist, in what is considered empirically a social field: tourism. In this way, we discuss the interference of organized collective action in the transformation of the tourist field, as a way of problematizing the social interactions of the actors present in this dynamic. The collective action has a greater weight in relation to the action of individual actors, thus having more power of interference in the decisions of the field, since they have a greater force. Specifically, we argue that a small group of actors can determine the direction of activity according to their private interests, leading to the exclusion of weaker groups. This relationship may be related to the strictly economic emphasis given the activity, afterwards the social, cultural and environmental spheres, keeping some actors in the centrality of the field. In this way, the inclusion of new actors in the scope of collective action is presented as a potential path to rebalance the existing asymmetry of power. It should be emphasized that this relationship is influenced by pre-established social structures and may depend on a causal moment for its actual effectiveness.