Exploring Discourse Ethics for Tourism Transformation

Tourism 66 (3):269-281 (2018)
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The 'critical turn' in tourism studies is defined as a research perspective that explores social transfor- mation in and through tourism by facing the negative impact of strategic-instrumental rationality on this activity. This work explores the features of discourse ethics that may normatively support tourism transformation, a gap that has not been thoroughly discussed in tourism research. For this purpose, the study combines the use of critical and ethical theory with an analysis of discourse ethics in tourism literature to demonstrate that the use of Habermasian discourse ethics needs to be complemented with the Apelian approach. Through these steps the work reveals the theoretical bases of discourse ethics to discuss whether understandings between stakeholders guided by strategic-instrumental rationality can be reached not only in the political sphere —Habermas—, but also in the ethical field —Apel.
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