Critical realism, rationality and tourism knowledge

VCJM Platenkamp, D. Botterill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Positivism has been criticized on legitimate grounds for its absolutist and universalist claims. The tightening methodological binds that accompanied Positivism have been adequately criticized in the tourism academy. However, since the fruitful and enriching reaction of the interpretive, linguistic and critical turns another imbalance seems to penetrate tourism knowledge production, the disappearance of reality and the concomitant spread of a paralyzing relativism. Critical realism will be proposed as the route to regain ontological awareness within tourism scholarship, with the mild reservation that reality is not completely rational. Hegel's equation of reality with rationality will be rejected through an analysis of the irrational in the social world and by reference to the Dionysian impulse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-129
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Constructionism
  • Critical realism
  • Epistemology
  • Irrationality
  • Ontology
  • Reality


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