Does Slum Tourism Make Us Better People?
A researcher from the University of the West of England's
Fabian Frenzel will travel to the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro in a quest to discover why people go, what prompts the tour operators to offer this kind of 'holiday' and the ethos behind the organisations. Do the tour operators give something back, do the travellers have an in depth experience or is this kind of travel little more than voyeurism?
Fabian Frenzel explains, "Slumming is not a new phenomenon, rich people have been attracted by slums since they occurred as a result of the industrial revolution in the early 19th century. And there is evidence that the slum experience has perpetuated social motivation to do good and moreover has prompted political demands for greater social justice.
"What interests me is the recent growth in organised tours to do slums or shanty towns with a variety of different kinds of tour operator. I am going to look at one 'social' not for profit enterprise and one profit oriented enterprise with a view to determining the moral dilemmas implicit in this kind of tourism. Critics argue that the dignity of slum dwellers is violated by the tourist gaze. But others say that exposure to the 'experience' can motivate people from more privileged backgrounds to 'do some good' as a result.
"Many areas around the world that were once regarded as slums have become significantly gentrified and the conditions that people once lived in have led to the growing of unique cultural communities. Harlem in
"During my visit to
"The project has been made possible by a new funding round at UWE called the Early Career Researcher Starter Grant which helps early researchers to conduct significant bodies of work that will inform teaching and act as a springboard for future projects. This work will feed into my teaching and allows a temporary space to take time to build a foundation for ongoing research interests."
Fabian will travel to