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Volunteer experiences on organic farms: A phenomenological exploration / Maggie Miller; Heather Mair

Tourism Analysis, Volume: 20, Issue: 1, Pages: 69 - 80

Swansea University Author: Maggie, Miller

DOI (Published version): 10.3727/108354215X14205687167662

Abstract

This article presents an exploration of the understudied phenomenon of volunteering on organic farms, a movement associated with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). Using a hermeneutic phenomenological lens influenced by philosophies of Hans George Gadamer, this article illuminates ex...

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Published in: Tourism Analysis
Published: Cognizant Communication Corporation 2015
Online Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/108354215X14205687167662
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa39850
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Abstract: This article presents an exploration of the understudied phenomenon of volunteering on organic farms, a movement associated with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). Using a hermeneutic phenomenological lens influenced by philosophies of Hans George Gadamer, this article illuminates experiences of volunteers on organic farms in Argentina, experiences we denote as “organic volunteering.” Our use of phenomenology provides an opportunity to develop deeper understandings of these lived experiences and what they mean to volunteers. Data collection and analysis of active interviews and participant observation with volunteers revealed a central understanding of opening to living in interconnectedness, which is underpinned by six horizons of understanding: 1) reconnecting, 2) exchanging knowledge, 3) experiencing harmony, 4) bonding with others, 5) consciousness raising, and 6) transforming. Our work suggests that while these experiences are likely similar to volunteer or even alternative tourism broadly defined, organic volunteering encompasses aspects that may extend beyond what has been put forward by volunteer tourism researchers, and is perhaps its own niche of alternative tourism.
Keywords: Organic farms; volunteerism; alternative tourism; hermeneutic phenomenology
College: School of Management
Issue: 1
Start Page: 69
End Page: 80