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Preliminary communication

Situating the self in religious tourism research: An author’s reflexive perspective

Alison J. McIntosh ; Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Hamilton, New Zealand

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page 213-227

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This paper reflectively examines aspects of the author’s journey as an academic researcher and research supervisor to discuss and recognise the realities of situated knowledge creation within the study of religion tourism. Specifically, I focus on issues which have emerged from my experiences of researching religious tourism, and the issues and ethical challenges encountered during the supervision process when advising students in the same field. Two wider questions are posed in the consideration of the researcher’s and supervisor’s journey: Firstly, can we research the lived experiences of others when we hold different religious beliefs to those whom we study and collaborate with? Secondly, what are the key ethical issues in doing so? In discussing these questions, drawing on the experiences of the author and two of her research students, the paper aims to turn religious tourism discourse ‘towards the self’ in the hope of engendering further consideration of reflexivity within this field of enquiry.


reflexivity; religious tourism; spirituality; subjective experience

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