The production and consumption of hospitality space

Lugosi, Peter (2003) The production and consumption of hospitality space. Doctoral thesis, University of North London.


The principal aim of the study is to examine the relationship between collective and individual identities and the production and consumption of hospitality. The thesis develops an ecological approach to hospitality that is simultaneously social and spatial; hospitality is understood as both process and context where social relationships and identities are articulated. It is argued that different ecologies of hospitality represent specific social orders and networks of relationships where hosts and guests simultaneously produce and consume their hospitality spaces. The study re-evaluates the experience of hospitality through a critical examination of the potential roles and/or functions of the hosts and guests.

Drawing on an extended ethnographic case study, and a series of illustrative cases, the thesis develops four lines of inquiry:

First, because commercial venues are characterised by fragmentary occupation, the study examines the basis for association and disassociation among hosts and guests through the notion of proximity.

Second, the study illustrates how common understandings (myths) are produced through performative and semiotic strategies inside and outside the hospitality contexts. These myths act as the ideological focal points around which potential participants gather but are also part of exclusionary practices that reflect social positions and practices of identification.

Third, the thesis examines the specific roles of hosts and guests in producing hospitality ecologies. This is simultaneously concerned with the performative strategies of hosts and guests within the hospitality context and the potential roles of guests as marketing agencies. Specific emphasis is placed on the power relationship between hosts and guests in producing a social order within hospitality space.

Lastly, I argue that boundaries and exclusion are an essential part of hospitality production and consumption. The thesis illustrates the significance of exclusionary practices of potential participants, and those dissenting, in producing hospitality ecologies.

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