chapter  1
24 Pages

Travelling through citizenship: from social rights to the consumer society

To allow a man [ sic ] to travel is to allow him to do something that one has no right to deny: it is a social injustice.

(Peuchet, 1790, cited in Torpey 2000 : 25)

This chapter presents a broad overview of the principal concepts and theoretical perspectives that have historically framed interpretations of citizenship. It evaluates diverse avenues through which existing ideas and practices of citizenship are implicated in (and are being reshaped by) international tourism. It begins by setting out the major ideas and debates informing our understanding of citizenship, indicating how a range of social and economic processes originating within and beyond the state have transformed existing models of citizenship. In order to elucidate various ways in which citizenship shapes and determines people’s mobility, the chapter examines the social welfare ideals underpinning the provision of leisure opportunities and the historical expansion of travel. It then draws attention to the ways in which tourism access and participation issues shed light on a social rights agenda by forming a framework with which to comprehend tourism’s relationship with the discourse of social citizenship. The discussion identifi es ways in which various state initiatives, especially those associated with the development and establishment of ‘social tourism’, signalled the dawn of leisure and recreational travel as facets of modern citizenship. Nonetheless, this chapter also demonstrates how the endeavours of states and supra-national entities to pursue a ‘tourism for all’ agenda are challenged by both the growth of commoditized forms of tourism and the growing complexity of global society.