Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Street children : the other side of tourism in Hue, Viet Nam Public Deposited

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  • Street children are a significant presence in Hue, Viet Nam's tourist center, where they eat, sleep, work, and play. Utilizing ethnographic methods, this study examines how tourism impacts the lives of street children involved in the industry. The street children have generally been compelled to leave home because of adverse conditions there. Prospects of making considerable amounts of money, as well as freedom and good times, drew the children to the street and to Hue's tourist center, which they considered to be a better option than life at home. Over time, the street children have gained insights into Western culture through their interactions with Western tourists. Using their understanding of Western tourists' values, the street children manipulate and exploit the tourists for financial gain. The street children's lifestyle, which is supported by tourism, is contrary to highly regarded Vietnamese cultural values, and thus puts them at odds with mainstream society and local authorities. As non-domiciled youths, who exist in an exposed and uncertain environment and elicit disdain from members of mainstream society, the street children are indeed vulnerable. Given the street children's circumstances, they perceived tourism as a positive thing in their lives because of the success they enjoyed from their involvement in tourism. A resolution to the street children issue could be achieved by remedying the factors of abuse and poverty at home that result in children living on the street. Providing street children with a safe place to sleep, education and vocational training, food, and protection from abuse by police are simple steps that would increase the children's quality of life. Street children are not presently considered legitimate stakeholders in the tourism industry. Researchers and tourism consultants need to be informed about street children's interests and participation in the industry, so that they can act as advocates for these unrecognized stakeholders. Theories of globalization and imperialism in the context of tourism are challenged by this study, which demonstrates that the consequences of tourism are not always and only negative, especially as perceived by local populations. This study also gives cause to reconsider the nature of childhood and suggests that there are possibilities beyond Western expectations.
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