Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Walsh, Andrew F.


Voluntourism is a phenomenon that is both widely popular and greatly criticized. Voluntourists judge their volunteering based on the relationships formed during the experience. While critics tend to judge voluntourism in terms of long term economic and well-being indicators and statistics. To understand why volunteers judge their own actions as positive in the moment and can change their opinions after the fact, this study will look at overseas volunteer trips as forming temporary moral communities. The lifecycle of voluntourism temporary moral communities is broken down into five periods: 1) Pre-Departure; 2) Arrival; 3) Everyday; 4) De-Orientation; and 5) Return. Using a thorough analysis of volunteers’ personal blog sites, and ethnographic research on a volunteering trip to the World Girl Guiding Centre, Sangam, in India, the lifecycle of overseas volunteering temporary moral communities will be examined and then displayed textually through experiential vignettes and visually through social network analysis diagrams.