Cohen, S., Higham, J. and Cavaliere, C., 2011. Binge flying despite climate change: A behavioural addiction? In: Advancing the Social Science of Tourism, 28 June-1 July 2011, University of Surrey, England. (Unpublished)
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Urry (2010, p. 93) suggests that global capitalism fuels lifestyles characterised by greater freedom to consume, and warns that excessive mobility may result in ‘sites of potential mass addiction’. Although the term ‘addiction’ is traditionally restricted to substance dependency, a number of behaviours are now being viewed as potentially addictive, including shopping, exercise, video games, overeating, gambling and sex. Recently, two articles in the popular press have implicated frequent tourist air travel as a social practice that may constitute behavioural addiction (Hill, 2007; Rosenthal, 2010). Rough Guides founder Mark Ellingham has coined the term ‘binge flying’ in critiquing the public’s growing appetite for holidays accessed through air travel. In stark contrast to most behavioural addictions, which are characterised by severe negative consequences for individuals directly, the destructive outcome attributable to excessive flying is premised upon air travel’s growing contribution to global climate change. This presentation examines the proposition that excessive tourist air travel, or binge flying, may constitute a new site of behavioural addiction, and offers supporting empirical evidence of changing consumer discourses towards the practice of holiday frequent flying. The empirical material is based on in-depth interviews with consumers in Norway and the United Kingdom. Our interest in Norway and the United Kingdom arises from tensions between the conspicuous aeromobility of large sections of their respective populations and government initiatives aimed at climate change mitigation. The presentation considers the different ways in which tourist air travel has become socially embedded in sections of societies, and how these practices may produce tensions between the perceived personal and social benefits of tourism and climate change behavioural adaptation, a conflict Rosenthal (2010) describes as the ‘flyers’ dilemma’.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||Geography and Environmental Studies|
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Tourism
|Group:||School of Tourism > Centre for Event and Sport Research|
|Deposited By:||Dr Scott Cohen LEFT|
|Deposited On:||06 Mar 2011 12:00|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:42|
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