Vulnerability, volunteering and hospitality as care

Alison Phipps, Alison McIntosh, Cheryl Cockburn-Wootten, Yana Wengel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Abstract We are aware that hospitality generally collocates with either the term industry or management. Both terms belong to a way of knowing and practicing hospitality dominated by market forces, by consumption, and binary divisions. For instance, the traditional binary divide between ‘host’ and ‘guest’ raises debate for critical scholars around the nature of relationships, influence of power and values, and how these binary terms are (de)constructed and defined. We wish to revisit the roots of the concept of hospitality. The Middle English definition of hospitality, for example, refers to “The reception and entertainment of guests and strangers; also, the giving of lodging, sustenance, and care to those in poverty or distress”. This definition illustrates its connection to compassion, care, advocacy and unconditionality or voluntary action. This brings into focus the work of volunteering and the ethic of care, for example, freely given to guests, strangers and for crossing thresholds, all of which are often politically nuanced. For us, the ethic of care brings to hospitality the essences of welcome, gift giving, authenticity, liberality, social justice and opens up possibilities for hospitality as advocacy, care and protection. This poster presents hospitality as care for travelers within liminal zones of border security, volunteering, institutional care and detention. In conclusion, it is only through “leaning in” to vulnerability that we enhance human relatedness in the spirit of genuine hospitality.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2013
Event25th New Zealand Communication Association (NZCA) Annual Conference 'Waiting for the Communication Revolution' - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 2 Dec 20133 Dec 2013


Conference25th New Zealand Communication Association (NZCA) Annual Conference 'Waiting for the Communication Revolution'
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


  • volunteering
  • hospitality
  • vulnerability


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