Taking the moral turn in tourism studies
Morality tends to receive little direct consideration in the realm of mainstream social science, but moral dimensions are an unavoidable feature of all human activities, including scholarly pursuits. The paucity of formal discussion about this issue is particularly unfortunate in tourism studies, given that those of us working here operate on loaded moral territory, confronting a phenomenon that at once speaks of lighthearted pleasure and heavy social consequences. This conceptual paper briefly traces the history of moral concerns in tourism studies, indirectly articulated as they have typically been, and then attempts to provide some grounding analysis on why overt talk of such matters has been so difficult to tackle in this domain—and why things need to change. âº Recent epistemological trends have made talk of values difficult in social research. âº Tourism scholarship is largely preoccupied with truth rather than consequences. âº Tourism is a space where gratification, exploration, and social engagement collide. âº This collision renders tourism a challenging but fertile ground for moral reasoning. âº Moral reflexivity is an important part of scholarship.