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Title: Constructing the moral framework of hospitality in non-commercial homestays
Author: Moysidou, Gesthimani
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 4191
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2020
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In the past few years there has been a rise in people trying to find more meaningful ways to experience a country and its local culture when travelling, such as non-commercial homestays. Non-commercial homestays refer to the encounters where food and accommodation are offered by the host in exchange for a few hours of daily work by the guest. Due to the complicated nature of this encounter where the private and the public arena overlap, with the host simultaneously being an employer and the guest being an employee, the rules of the exchange are often unclear. This study explores the ways in which the two sides of non-commercial homestays construct the moral framework of the encounter by reacting to micro-ethical dilemmas they are faced with throughout their experience. To that end, a combination of an autoethnographic account and in-depth semistructured interviews were employed. For the former, I participated in a Workaway an exchange as a guest to sensitise myself as a researcher to the experience. The autoethnography was followed by 50 interviews with hosts and guests in this setting, participating in au pairing and exchanges facilitated by organisations such as WWOOF, Workaway and HelpX. The findings suggest that the main aspects of the exchange were the work offered by the guest, the hospitality offered by the host as well as the interpersonal relationship, education and cultural exchange that take place. Each side enters the encounter with their own perceptions of fairness in relation to these aspects and is often faced with micro-ethical dilemmas; situations where they were uncertain of what the moral framework dictates. Their reactions to these dilemmas communicate their viewpoint to the other side explicitly or implicitly- and, in turn, feed into the moral framework of the encounter according to which they will act for the duration of the experience. In terms of theoretical contributions, the study offers an insight into the host-guest relationship, the resulting power dynamic, as well as the negotiation that takes place between the two throughout the encounter. In terms of practical contributions, the findings of this research can be used by both organisations and their members that participate in such encounters to secure better host-guest matches and ensure a positive experience for both sides.
Supervisor: Lynch, Paul ; McCleery, Alison Sponsor: Edinburgh Napier University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: non-commercial homestays ; host-guest relationship ; hospitality ; power dynamics