CFP: A critical lens on hospitality and tourism work – special Issue

Guest Editors

Dr Candice Harris (AUT), Dr Jennie Small (UTS), Dr Erica Wilson (SCU)


A critical lens on hospitality and tourism work

About the Special issue

This Special Issue of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management will employ a critical lens on hospitality and tourism work. The aim of this Special Issue is to examine research on hospitality and tourism work conducted by critical scholars, with particular interest on deconstructing, critiquing and advancing the pursuit of work and careers in hospitality and tourism.

Deloitte’s report, titled Human Capital Trends (2015), advocates that “the balance of power in the employer-employee relationship has shifted—making today’s employees more like customers or partners than subordinates” (p. 2). Is the shift in power alive in hospitality and tourism establishments? Have the traditionally grim power relations for workers in these industries transformed to a ‘partnership’ to evaluate status and working conditions? In this issue we seek to ignite academic scholarship that investigates and highlights work practices that should be condemned and those that deserve to be heralded. It is timely to examine the place of culture/ethnicity, age, sexuality etc. in hospitality and tourism work. It is also time to revisit the gendered nature of labour in hospitality and tourism and the position of gender in the researching of tourism and hospitality work considering the recent findings of Figueroa-Domecq, et al. (2015) that only 12.6% of gender-aware papers published between 1985 and 2012 focused on gendered labour (wage discrimination and occupational segregation, instability and development, managerial style and recruitment and sexual harassment). It is clear that gendered labour as a topic is still the Cinderella of academic scholarship in tourism and hospitality.

The focus on gender in hospitality and tourism from a critical approach is even narrower, as Small, Harris and Wilson (2015) found. Across five of tourism and hospitality’s most highly ranked journals, less than 25% of the 85 papers with the search term, ‘gender’, were judged to be working from a critical tourism approach. The majority of the 85 papers were descriptive, treating gender solely as a demographic variable and focussing on ‘sex’ differences, suggesting the ‘add gender as a variable and stir’ approach, privileging positivist modes rather than critical approaches to research, lives on in our fields. Critical hospitality seeks to unpack and critique the notions of hospitality and hospitableness in search of emancipation and transformational change (McIntosh & Harris, 2012).

For this Special Issue we invite submissions from scholars who are interested in advancing hospitality and tourism work to encompass ideas around more equitable relationships in workplaces, social justice, emancipation through work and also critical methodologies for researching hospitality and tourism work. We welcome contributions on critical approaches in hospitality and tourism work, including contributions on:

  • critical approaches to researching gender in hospitality and tourism work
  • ‘dirty’ work in hospitality
  • embodied work
  • hospitality and tourism work as marginalised work
  • power relations in hospitality and tourism work
  • emancipation through hospitality and tourism work
  • discourses of hospitality and tourism work
  • the sexualisation of hospitality and tourism work
  • silences and absences in hospitality and tourism work
  • hospitality and tourism work as portrayed through the media, e.g. Masterchef
  • new types of hospitality and tourism work
  • re-engineering work and ‘machines as talent’ – the future of hospitality and tourism work and implications for gendered roles
  • worker-customer relations
  • intersectionality (gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, etc) and hospitality and tourism workers
  • ‘slow work’ or alternative perspectives on work
  • hospitality as unpaid work

Special Issue Timeline

  • Abstracts due (max 500 words): 15 February 2016
  • Successful abstract authors advised: End February 2016
  • Full paper manuscript submission to editors: 30 June 2016
  • Review process: July-August 2016
  • Advise authors on outcome of review: by 31 August 2016
  • Special issue publication: Late 2016

Submission Details

  • Abstracts due (max 500 words): 15 February 2016. Please email direct to Dr Candice Harris.
  • Full manuscripts (max 8,000 words): 30 June 2016 in accordance with the requirements of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Please send completed manuscripts to Dr Candice Harris.

Author guidelines can be found at the Journal’s website.


Further enquiries about the Special Issue can be directed to:

  • Professor Erica Wilson

    Academic Portfolio Office

    Southern Cross University

  • Professor Candice Harris

    Department of Management

    AUT University