We are currently seeking expression of Interest / chapter proposals for a book on backpacking/backpacker culture. 

There have been three previous “seminal” books on backpacking.

  • Richards, G., & Wilson, J. (Eds.). (2004). The global nomad: Backpacker travel in theory and practice. Channel View Publications.
  • Hannam, K., & Ateljevic, I. (Eds.). (2007). Backpacker tourism: Concepts and profiles. Channel View Publications.
  • Hannam, K., & Diekmann, A. (Eds.). (2010). Beyond backpacker tourism: Mobilities and experiences. Channel View Publications.

These works have provided insights into backpacking for a generation of undergraduate, postgraduate students and researchers.  However, as it’s nearly a decade since the last publication, it’s time for an update!

I’d be very happy to chat through any chapter ideas, 

Many thanks,


Call for Chapter Proposals


Editor: Michael O’Regan, Bournemouth University, UK

Backpacking as an “alternative” form/type of tourism generates a distinct way of “being-in-the-world” as individuals characterised by extensive spatial mobility and time and space flexibility, travel for up to one year or more on routes that span the globe. There has been a rapid increase in their visibility as a distinct form of tourism. From books to movies, the media is now flush with “backpacking” related images, films, fiction, oral histories, documentaries, reality television shows and soap operas. However, as a label or category, “backpacker” and “backpacking” can generate a surprising amount of debate. From the scholars who contest the conflicting claims to its origin, the entrepreneurs who seek to extend it as a label, to the backpackers who wish to distance themselves from it; there is little agreement as to the nature of backpacking homogeneity or heterogeneity, its past or its future. For an increasing number of authors, there is a feeling that backpacker research in the social sciences has stalled, open to manipulative hypotheses, subjected to flawed empirical tests and narrow interpretations. Therefore, this new publication seeks chapter proposals to move past what is known, toward what we do not yet fully understand and that which is currently beyond us.

Possible Topics

  • The impact of long-term travel on an individual’s social / cultural / economic capital.
  • Transformation/ impact on value system;
  • Backpacker Entrepreneurs;
  • Mechanisms of exclusion within backpacking and inequalities of access (e.g. gender, race, sexuality, age);
  • Their impact on societies/ and those left behind;
  • Spaces of consumption (e.g. hostels) as key sites for learning and identity work;
  • Current methods of studying backpackers – mobile methods (new technologies, such as GPS and location aware devices as blogs/social media);
  • Backpacker mobilities and practices structured by fear;
  • How do backpackers fit into the tourist flows, taking their place among other tourists and locals?
  • Dedicated backpacker infrastructure and routes;
  • How does a person become a competent backpacker? How are those skills acquired?
  • Backpacker vulnerability and resilience;
  • Creating and managing backpacker experiences;
  • Backpacking and transformation;
  • Backpacking as a ritualistic journey, backpacker symbols;
  • Values and identity work of backpackers;
  • Backpacker motivations;
  • Backpacker identities in a digital world.

The book (with an internationally recognized publisher) aims to bring together contributions from scholars from a number of academic fields, including leisure, tourism, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, geography and others, to capture the diversity of backpacker contexts, types and forms. The expected proposals can present evidence from all over the world, utilising various disciplinary and methodological approaches. Each contribution must be original and unpublished work which has not been submitted for publication elsewhere. Chapter proposals are invited to be sent to the editor at Proposals should include chapter title, a 250-500-word synopsis of the chapter content (topic, focus, empirical or conceptual basis, and core argument), as well as author(s) name and affiliation, and a 50-word author bio.  Chapter proposals are due by January 10, 2020, with acceptance due by the end of February 2020, with an aim for late 2020 submission and publication.