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Am I a backpacker? Factors indicating the social identity of Chinese backpackers

Am I a backpacker? Factors indicating the social identity of Chinese backpackers

Zhang, Jingru, Morrison, Alastair M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0754-1083, Tucker, Hazel and Wu, Bihu (2017) Am I a backpacker? Factors indicating the social identity of Chinese backpackers. Journal of Travel Research, 57 (4). pp. 525-539. ISSN 0047-2875 (Print), 1552-6763 (Online) (doi:

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The question of what constitutes backpacker identity has been one of the central topics of backpacking tourism research. With the economic boom in China, the last two decades witnessed the proliferation of Chinese backpackers. By adopting quantitative methods, this study provides a comprehensive understanding of what makes one a “backpacker” in China. Comparing results from t-tests, binomial logistic regression, and multiple linear regression, it is found that Chinese backpackers’ social identities are mostly associated with external-oriented motivation, work alienation, and detachment from home centers. Behavioral characteristics, which have up until now been widely used to define backpackers, have very limited relationship to their identities in China. This finding calls for future research to rethink what is a backpacker. The research makes an important contribution to the understanding of this growing market and its particular identity factors.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: backpacker, backpacking tourism, social identity, travel behavior, motivations, sense of alienation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2020 09:02
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 3

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