'Poor children on Tinder' and their Barbie Saviours: towards a feminist political economy of volunteer tourism

Wearing, S, Mostafanezhad, M, Nguyen, H, Nguyen, T and McDonald, M 2018, ''Poor children on Tinder' and their Barbie Saviours: towards a feminist political economy of volunteer tourism', Leisure Studies, vol. 37, no. 5, pp. 500-514.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title 'Poor children on Tinder' and their Barbie Saviours: towards a feminist political economy of volunteer tourism
Author(s) Wearing, S
Mostafanezhad, M
Nguyen, H
Nguyen, T
McDonald, M
Year 2018
Journal name Leisure Studies
Volume number 37
Issue number 5
Start page 500
End page 514
Total pages 15
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Barbie Saviours is a satirical Instagram account and linked Facebook page that depict white western Barbies volunteering in Africa with the bio, 'Jesus. Adventures. Africa. Two worlds. One love. Babies. Beauty. Not qualified. Called. 20 years old. It's not about me... but it kind of is'. Drawing on emerging theories of feminist political economy, we address the growing backlash against volunteer tourism in the popular media and argue that critiques against these images reflect an anti-hegemonic project that highlights the role of sentimental colonialism in contemporary forms of international popular humanitarianism. Widely described as a critique against the "White Saviour Complex", Barbie Saviour is used to popularize a negative image of western female volunteer tourists which currently comprise more than 75 percent of the industry. These critiques question the morality and legitimacy of female volunteer tourists as well as related spaces of western forms of development in the global south. These satires shine a spotlight on the neo-colonial aura of the practice. However, we argue that while this critique is a productive reminder of the symbolic violence of racialized inequality, the critique itself also, albeit inadvertently, perpetuates the ahistorical and apolitical racial, ethnic, gender and class-based binary thinking that it seeks to condemn.
Subject Gender Specific Studies
Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
Social and Community Psychology
Keyword(s) Barbie Saviours
feminist political economy
neocolonialism
neoliberalism
volunteer tourism
DOI - identifier 10.1080/02614367.2018.1504979
Copyright notice © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN 1466-4496
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 0 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Altmetric details:
Access Statistics: 19 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 29 Apr 2019, 13:04:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us