The Performativity Turn in Tourism

Stephen Harwood, Dahlia El-Manstrly

Research output: Working paper

Abstract / Description of output

‘Performativity’ and its associate ‘performative’, are terms which have recently permeated the tourism literature. However, it is unclear how these terms, in particular, performativity, are being used and what is meant in their use, leading to possible misunderstanding in their reading. This paper’s contribution is the provision of a clarification in usage based upon the study of how performativity has been used in a variety of different disciplines (e.g. anthropology, sociology, feminist theory and theatre studies). This analysis finishes with the examination of how the term has been used in tourism, focusing upon usage within the Annals of Tourism Research. It is concluded that there are five potential interpretations associated with usage, each emphasising different facets of the notion of performativity: transformation, enactment, being, negotiation and efficiency. This clarification should alert future users as to the manner in which their usage can be interpreted and thus allow them to signpost intentional usage so that interpretations are appropriate.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh Business School
ISBN (Print)9781906816087
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Publication series

NameUniversity of Edinburgh Business School Working Paper Series
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh Business School

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • performativity
  • performance
  • tourism
  • practice


Dive into the research topics of 'The Performativity Turn in Tourism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this