- A travel style formed on the social-networking site
- Award date
- 6 November 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Couchsurfing is a social-networking site to facilitate hospitality exchange among global travellers. As Couchsurfing becomes popular, its meaning has extended from an alternative accommodation to an expression of a kind of travel style, which refers to staying over at the local’s home and experiencing a place through the local eyes. In many cases, the travel style connotes a cosmopolitan ideology, which constitutes couchsurfers’ identities and supports couchsurfers to differentiate themselves from the mass tourists. The aim of this study is to explore the transforming process of Couchsurfing and the forming process of the cosmopolitan ideologies in the Couchsurfing community. Based on the couchsurfers’ cases in Taiwan and the Netherlands, this study demonstrates how couchsurfers, the organizing team of Couchsurfing as well as the web-based technologies work together to perform Couchsurfing as a travel style and to (re)produce Couchsurfing cosmopolitanisms. The hidden power relation of Couchsurfing community is further examined through focusing on Taiwanese couchsurfers’ and women couchsurfers’ experiences and their perspectives on the cosmopolitan ideologies through Couchsurfing practices.
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