The opening up of hospitality spaces to difference : exploring the nature of home exchange experiences

Onderzoeksoutput: PhD Research external, graduation external


It can be argued that many potentialities within society are left unused by organising hospitality venues based on modern planning practices. These planning practises regard the setting as a rational space which is predictable and manageable. By applying modern management principles to spaces of hospitality an important function of spaces of hospitality can be easily overlooked and that is that spaces of hospitality can be regarded as spaces which provide 'difference' for both host and guest. This difference in spaces of hospitality entails that hospitality space gives an opportunity to experiment with different futures, or in other words with different becomings. The concept of 'Urban Vitalis', which is initiated at the beginning of the twentieth century by the German philosopher Georg Simmel, and in 2006 reworked by John Pløger, illuminates this quest for difference. Through 'Urban Vitalis' human beings are recognised as self-transcendent entities, whose lives - attitudes, values, ways of acting and behaving - may change through their 'being-openness' toward life but also always influenced by the ongoing striving for being part of relational positions or intersubjectivities. The concept of 'Urban Vitalis' enthrones the quest for difference in space rather than modern managerial principles such as profitability, make-ability or controllability to study hospitality space. When curriculums of Hospitality Management Studies are reviewed, hardly any attention is given to the possibility that spaces of hospitality can be spaces which create a difference. By adopting 'Urban Vitalis', spaces of hospitality become sites of experimentation where humans should be able to experiment with new combinations, where humans can experience that the future is not a replica of the past.
Through the processes which happen in spaces of hospitality and which open spaces of hospitality to difference are limited. This study can be seen in the light of the aim to create spaces of difference and focuses on home exchange space as an informal space of hospitality. These informal spaces are characterised by open ended planning processes. This research explores the home exchange experience from a participant perspective and the overall research aim is to analyse the nature of the home exchange experience in order to conceptualise the dynamics of open-ended planning processes in spaces of hospitality. In other words the practise of home exchange is used to identify processes which underlie creative becomings in spaces of hospitality. The study follows two trajectories, namely, interactively exploring literature alongside the data collection. The interactive exploration of the literature led towards an employment of the concept of the 'Assemblage' from Deleuze and Guattari (1987) in order to know hospi tality space. The Deleuzian Guattarian assemblage focuses on what space does rather than on what space represents and searches for processes which underlie the becomings. Through the concept of the assemblage, the metaphor of the Cultural Laboratory (Lèofgren, 1999) is used to explore the literature and to reach a post-structural understanding of a space of hospitality as space of experimentation. The art project by Sabrina Lindemann 'Hotel Transvaal' is used to ground this understanding. Alongside this literature review, field work has been conducted through a participative (auto) ethnographic study and a total of twenty-two home exchanges have been conducted and recorded, this data collection occurred while connecting with home exchange organisations.
For analysis and representation of the methodology during the interplay between fieldwork and literature review, 'Sociological Experimentation' has been developed, its goal is to ident lead to difference. It employs three ways of knowing: the evocative, the performativity of space and the process of becoming. The evocative dimension showed the importance of an initiation by the host into the space and highlights the non-representational bodily aspects of the assemblage. The performative dimension stresses the importance of the X-thing, which represents the unknown and potential emergence of the subject into serendipitous experiences. The becoming aspect also focused on this growing and shrinking by becoming other and creating lines of flight. Through becoming other, the guest could become and the ability to (temporarily) escape the guest role by creating new configurations of bodies and sensations. Recommendations for providers of hospitality space and curriculum designers in hospitality management are to acknowledge the constructive forces in spaces of hospitality and to facilitate for X-things to enhance serendipitous experiences.
Originele taal-2English
  • Lynch, Paul A., Supervisor, Externe Persoon
StatusAccepted/In press - 2010


  • gastvrijheid


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