Critical Hospitality Symposium, Critical Hospitality Symposium II: Hospitality IS Society

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(In)hospitality and Refugee Precarity
Hazel Mary Tucker

Last modified: 2018-07-02


Whilst many people fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have attempted to use Turkey as a passage to get through to Europe, large numbers of refugees have stayed within Turkey’s borders, either in camps in the south east or dispersed throughout Turkey. While Turkey has agreed to 'host' these refugees, the situation and status of many remains precarious. In this paper I will consider this situation of precarity and the particular ways in which it manifests in tourism contexts. In order to do so, I will explore the interplay between ‘refugee precarity’ and ‘(in)hospitality’ in the Turkish tourism region of Cappadocia. Focusing in on refugee-tourism relationships and performances, I will discuss encounters involving Afghani and Syrian young men working in tourist guest houses and restaurants. Occurring within spaces of the so-called ‘hospitality industry’, these encounters form examples of ‘those problematic moments when hospitality and benevolence create perverse dynamics… when several sets of laws of hospitality clash’ (Rosello, 2001: viii). Using Rosello’s examples of such ‘perverse dynamics’, the discussion considers how refugee precarity is performed within these spaces of supposed ‘hospitality’.

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