Sustaining precarity: critically examining tourism and employment

R. Robinson, A. Martins, D. Solnet, T. Baum

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Abstract

There is consensus that the social, or people, dimension of sustainability including its workforce thematics are neglected in the tourism literature and policy despite its prevalence in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Premised on the understanding that sustainability is inherently set in neo-liberal discourses of progress, development and growth, we set about to investigate tourism’s performance principally relative to SDG, no. 8 (UN, 2015), which calls for 'decent work'. Underpinned by precarity, an emerging sociological concept applied in the workforce context, and adopting critical approaches, this paper presents a review of a sample of industry reports from global, regional and national levels. The study provides evidence that tourism sustains precarity vis-à-vis its employment practices. Our findings suggest that, counter to prevailing sustainability discourse, tourism (employment) sustains deep social cleavages and economic inequalities – a triumvirate of precariousness of work, precariousness at work and subsequent precariousness of life.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • precarity
  • sustain
  • employment
  • workforce
  • humanist
  • social exclusion theory

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