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Title:Consent and meaningful experiences at regional Burning Man events
Author(s):Edwards, Caitlin
Advisor(s):Santos, Carla A.
Contributor(s):Payne, Laura L.
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Burning Man
Maslow's Hierarchy
Abstract:Within the field of leisure and leisure travel (tourism), consent is often couched inside the idea of free choice. Participants in an activity must freely choose that activity for it be considered leisure, and they must willingly choose to travel for it to be considered tourism. But what about consent during a leisure experience or during leisure travel? This project sought to explore the impact of consent culture on the experiences of participants at Regional Burning Man Events (Burns). The study expanded the tourism studies literature about the importance of consent on tourists’ experiences and further validates the applicability of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a measure for studying tourist motivation. In the end, the results of this study show that tourists who attend regional Burns find belonging and a space to explore identity and self expression. By all accounts, a culture of consent at these events heavily contributes to creating an environment where these experiences are possible. Consent takes into account the relational nature of interactions within communities and during leisure activities. As the participants in this study repeated and my own field experience showed, consent is deeply rooted in community. The culture of consent at Burns, whether enacted through formal training or through word of mouth and peer-led enforcement in the rest of the community, is in contrast to the rape culture of the everyday, or as Burners call it, “default” world. It is this culture of consent, one intentionally built to empower individuals and encourage open communication between participants, that enables traditionally vulnerable individuals to have “better” tourism experiences, ones in which their self-esteem and self-actualization needs are met.
Issue Date:2017-07-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Caitlin Edwards
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-02
Date Deposited:2017-08

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