Edited by Larry Dwyer, Alison Gill and Neelu Seetaram
Dianne Dredge and Rob Hales INTRODUCTION Case studies are increasingly recognized as a valuable research strategy for the study of tourism (Xiao and Smith, 2006). Defined as ‘an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context’, case study research is adopted by researchers seeking to describe, explore and/or explain complex and dynamic social systems (Yin, 2009, p. 13). Community case studies represent a particular subset of case study research. For the purpose of this chapter, a community case study in tourism focuses research attention on the way social processes within a community or multiple communities produce meanings about tourism and shape individual, organizational and institutional responses. This chapter explores and critically discusses community case studies in tourism and their application and value to tourism research and practice. The chapter concludes by identifying future directions and the need to address a number of issues if community case study research in tourism is to maximize its change-making potential. THE NATURE OF TOURISM COMMUNITY CASE STUDIES Defining Community ‘Community’ is a very difficult term to define and even the best attempts can be ambiguous. It is often taken for granted that community denotes a group of people who share some common features, i.e., they share the same ethnic background, are domiciled in proximity to each other, or they possess the same values. However, communities are far from homogeneous, which for many community case study researchers, is both a source of fascination and frustration. To illustrate, ‘community’ may be defined in...
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