Power and resistance: Digital-free tourism in a connected world

Wenjie Cai, Brad McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Although digital-free tourism is growing in popularity, research in this area has not unpacked the complex power relations between humans and technology through a critical perspective. Building on Foucault’s analysis of power and resistance, we theorized technology as disciplinary power and conducted a collaborative autoethnography to explore how individuals resist the dominant discourse. Through a reflexive account, we theorize digital-free travel as a process of negotiating and rejecting the dominant discourse of technology, particularly through effective personal strategies of engaging in full disconnection, redefining punishments and rewards, recalling nostalgic memories, and constantly reflecting on embodied feelings and self-transformations in the power relations. Theoretically, this study contributes to understanding digital-free tourism through the lens of power and resistance; it also contributes to critical studies in technology and tourism. Methodologically, we emphasize the potential of applying collaborative autoethnography in analyzing embodied self-transformations. Practically, this study offers suggestions for digital-free tourism providers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-304
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number2
Early online date30 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Foucault
  • autoethnography
  • digital-free tourism
  • disciplinary power
  • resistance

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