Title page for ETD etd-062599-185619


Type of Document Dissertation
Author McGehee, Nancy Gard
URN etd-062599-185619
Title Alternative Tourism: A Social Movement Perspective
Degree PhD
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Parker-Gwin, Rachel Committee Chair
Calasanti, Toni M. Committee Member
Fuller, Theodore D. Committee Member
Kiecolt, K. Jill Committee Member
Uysal, Muzaffer S. Committee Member
Keywords
  • social movements
  • social psychological theory
  • alternative tourism
  • resource mobilization theory
  • Earthwatch expeditions
Date of Defense 1999-06-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study develops and tests a theoretical model

drawing on social psychological and

resource-mobilization perspectives of social movement

theory to explain changes in social movement participation

and support for activism among Earthwatch Expedition

volunteers. The social psychological perspective of

social movements recognizes the role of self-efficacy

and consciousness-raising for the participation in and

success of social movement organizations. The resource

mobilization perspective of social movements stresses

rationality and the importance of funding and networks

for the success of social movement organizations.

Utilizing these two theoretical perspectives as my

foundation, I hypothesize that participation in an

Earthwatch Expedition increases volunteers' participation

in social movement organizations in ways such as making

monetary donations, voting with the organization's platform

in mind, or attending rallies and marches. I also hypothesize

that volunteers will increase their support for others who

participate in these same types of activities. Earthwatch

Expeditions are a form of alternative tourism in which

volunteers participate in any of 126 different types of 10-14

day research-oriented expeditions that may include evaluating

the health of a coral reef, studying maternal health among west

African women, assessing the killer whale population off

the coast of Puget Sound, or recording oral history in Dominica.

I conducted pre- and post-trip surveys in June and July of 1998,

resulting in 363 completed surveys. I analyzed data using

multiple regression to discover relationships between pre-trip

and post-trip measures of social movement participation, activism

support, networks, self-efficacy, and consciousness-raising.

In other words, I explored ways in which an alternative tourism

experience like Earthwatch can change a person's ideas about

their own social movement participation, the social movement

activities of others, their perceived ability to overcome

obstacles in order to implement social change, and their awareness

of social issues. Results suggest that participation in an

Earthwatch Expedition has a positive effect on volunteers'

social movement participation, their awareness of social issues,

their networks, and their ability to overcome obstacles, but

little effect on activism support.

Files
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