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2023-2024 Colloquium Series

Social and Cultural Differentiations in Children's Vacation Experiences:
Comparison France, USA, Canada and Switzerland

Bertrand Réau
Chair Professor, National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts
Visiting Researcher, Princeton University

Friday, April 19, 2:30PM-4PM PDT

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Few social science research on childhood, psychology, and medicine exercise a virtual monopoly on research in this area. If the social sciences are not opposed systematically by other approaches, they insist on aspects slightly considered elsewhere. They also differ from the social sciences of the family, who most often assume the child is a liability. On the contrary, the social science of childhood is supposed to regard the child as a social being, indeed in training and with a representative universe of specific practices. It may, therefore, be both childish cultures and logic of differentiation at various childhood ages. Tourism, as the experience of Otherness and discovery of foreign worlds for the family and the school, offers privileged fields for studying, learning, and social and cultural differentiations in children. Using ethnographic studies in France, Switzerland, the USA, and Canada, statistical analysis, and innovative methods of investigation (life stories, longitudinal follow-up), this paper aims to better understand primary socialization through the leisure uses of vacation time. Based on original survey data, it will propose a new theoretical framework for studies on childhood and tourism.

Keys words: tourism, vacation, childhood, international

Speaker Bio
Bertrand Réau is Chair Professor at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, Sociologist, and Artist. A researcher at the National Center For Scientific Research (CNRS-LISE), he is currently a Visiting researcher at the Department of Sociology of Princeton University. His recent work focuses on tourism practices and the social uses of time, the challenges of scientific globalization and disciplinary recompositions around Studies, the relationship between tourism and ethnicity in Southeast Asia, and employment and work in tourism. Since 2018, He is initiating new research on the social stakes of time, artistic work, and scientific research. His current research focuses on the political, social, and economic issues surrounding the social use of children's free time, comparing four countries (USA, Canada, France, and Switzerland). He is also working on a book about the sociologist Charles Wright Mills. He is a notable co-author of Sociology of Tourism (in French) (2016) and co-editor of Employment and Work in Tourism: Multidisciplinary and Comparative Approaches (2023) & Researching Elites and Power. Theory, Methods, Analyses (2020).

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