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ERIC Number: EJ905418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-6102
Student Identities and the Tourist Gaze in International Service-Learning: A University Project in Belize
Prins, Esther; Webster, Nicole
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, v14 n1 p5-32 2010
This qualitative study explores how 11 university students in a U.S. service-learning course in Belize understood and represented their identities during the project, particularly their use of "the tourist" as a construct to interpret their experiences. Drawing on literature in international service-learning (ISL) and tourism studies, the article explores how students in this outreach project positioned themselves in relation to tourists and rejected this label for themselves, the ways in which they both exhibited and departed from the "tourist gaze," and the conditions that fostered a more or less tourist-like stance. The article argues that the tourist gaze counteracts core goals of ISL and university engagement; however, such projects can also provide students with opportunities to develop a more conscious perspective of others and themselves. Findings suggest the need to identify and nurture programmatic practices that enable students to move away from a tourist gaze, especially in short-term projects. (Contains 2 endnotes.)
Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, University of Georgia and the Institute of Higher Education. Treanor House, 1234 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-6167; Fax: 706-542-6124; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belize