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The Racialized and Gendered Dimensions of Volunteer Tourism

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

‘The white woman's burden’ – the racialized, gendered politics of volunteer tourism

















Volunteer tourism, such as building houses or teaching children in areas of the world where you are also a tourist, has been historically viewed as an "unpolitical" phenomenon. This approach excuses so-called "voluntourists" from considering the ethical dilemmas that arise from their often savior-esque journeys. This article tackles the problematic nature of this industry through a postcolonial and feminist lens. That is to say, they examine how voluntourism replicates colonial power dynamics that often disproportionately harm women. Access the article here.


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