Volontärerna Internationellt hjälparbete från missionsorganisationer till volontärresebyråer

Detta är en avhandling från Växjö, Kalmar : Linnaeus University Press

Sammanfattning:  A new form of foreign travel called “voluntourism” has emerged in Sweden. Inadvertisements that invite to “make a difference”, travel agencies promote short termaid opportunities at for example orphanages or schools in Africa, Asia, andLatin America. International volunteer work is nothing new. Rather, the volunteeragencies have entered an old and established organizational field. Using theories ofnew institutionalism and the analytical phrase “the story about”, this thesisinvestigates the way international aid work originated and evolved, and howcommercial volunteer agencies entered the field. The thesis is partly based onhistorical data from organizational reports, biographies of aid work icons, andinterviews with volunteers active during the 1960s and 1970s. Additionally, itmakes use of contemporary data from interviews with representatives fromvolunteer travel agencies and volunteers. It also includes an analysis of how thetravel agencies present their business operations on their websites.The thesis concludes that travel agencies apply the common perception ofinternational aid work’s characteristics when marketing volunteer travels. Thiscommon perception can be traced through the evolution of international aid work.Travel agencies attract volunteers by offering access to this exclusive field. Thevolunteers are well-educated young women from middle class families. They arelooking for experiences from international aid work, perspective on their ownlives, and first-hand knowledge of local and traditional societies in poor countries.Nevertheless, due to the esteem in which the organizational field is viewed, a briefperiod spent as an aid worker is considered a desirable qualification for a jobapplicant. I interpret volunteer travel as a “grand tour”.Key words: volontourism, international aid work, volunteers, organizational field,the grand tour