Luxury, Tourism and Harm: A Deviant Leisure Perspective

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)


The unchecked drift towards luxury in the tourist industry compounds, exacerbates and perpetuates environmental and cultural harms on a local and global scale. I will demonstrate this claim through a range of examples, raising a number of important questions around the role of luxury within contemporary consumer culture. There are few startling revelations here. We are aware of many of the environmental costs of tourism. Many people would claim to be uncomfortable with the inequalities we witness when ‘on holiday’. In this sense, this chapter attempts to wrestle with motivational aspects at work. How can we explain the resilience and growth of the luxury tourist industry at a time when climate change is acknowledged as scientific truth, and extreme weather events appear to be increasing in both frequency and devastation, while the wealth divide between the global north and the south is increasingly pronounced. The deviant leisure perspective on leisure, consumerism and harm offers some hope here. Combined with a theorisation of luxury and individualistic subjectivities in consumer capitalism, this literature has great potential to explain these motivations within a deeper socio-cultural and political-economic causal context.


Deviant leisure Luxury Tourism Inequality Harm 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PlymouthPlymouthUK

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