Critical realist approach: a solution to tourism’s most pressing matter

Li, L (2021) 'Critical realist approach: a solution to tourism’s most pressing matter.' Current Issues in Tourism. ISSN 1747-7603

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Tourism as a social phenomenon is still in a status of ethicality that we hope can be improved. However, we still do not know how to effectively enhance morally guided tourism. It is argued that this knowledge gap is attributed to the absence of an appropriate philosophical underpinning informing the epistemological approaches adopted in ethical tourism studies. In this paper, the author posits that critical realism is a robust and fruitful underlabourer that will help researchers to uncover the ‘deep’ domain of ethical tourism. It is proposed that future research should investigate (1) what structural, cultural, and agential emergent properties of the systemic components of the ethical tourism system are operant, and (2) how a generative mechanism functions to influence, not determine, the moral conduct of tourism stakeholders. By addressing these two areas of knowledge, we will be able to understand how things work in ethical tourism so that we can make changes to enhance its uptake. Some examples are provided to illustrate how a realist inquiry can be carried out. It is hoped this paper will initiate further discussions on theorizing ethicality in tourism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: analytical dualism, critical realism, realist social theory, ethical theories, social mechanism, moral agency
Divisions: Bath Business School
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Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 11:19
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
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