Consuming sustainable tourism: ethics, identity, practice

  • Paul Hanna

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In recent years, contemporary western society has played witness to a growth in the production, promotion, and consumption of ostensibly ‘ethical’ products such as Fair Trade goods. Such commodities are characterised by an emphasis on rebalancing inequalities that ‘mass’ production/consumption are said to create. This thesis takes sustainable tourism as a novel example of such concerns. With recent inroads in psychology and the social sciences suggesting that the practice of consumption represents a prominent ‘mode’ for ‘identity work’ (including class identities), the consumption of ‘ethical’ products may arguably signify the manifestation of ‘ethical identity/identities’. However, ‘ethics’ and ‘identity’ are ambiguous words with significant concerns surrounding the ‘ethics’ of ‘ethical’ products, and the extent to which individuals exhibit ‘ethical identity/identities’ through the consumption of such goods. Building on Michael Foucault’s ‘technologies of self’ and ‘ethics’, this thesis seeks to contribute to our understanding of ‘ethics’, ‘identity’, and ‘practice’ in relation to sustainable tourism.
Date of AwardOct 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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