The dark side of business travel: A media comments analysis

The publication of ‘A darker side of hypermobility’ (Cohen and Gössling, 2015), which reviewed the personal and social consequences of frequent travel, led to considerable media coverage and sparking of the public imagination, particularly with regards to the impacts of business travel. It featured in more than 85 news outlets across 17 countries, engendering over 150,000 social media shares and 433 media comments from readers, with the latter a source of insight into how the public reacts online when faced with an overview of the negative sides of frequent business travel. The present paper is theoretically framed by the role of discourse in social change and utilises discursive analysis as a method to evaluate this body of media comments. The authors' analysis finds two key identities are performed through public responses to the explicit health and social warnings concerned with frequent business travel: the ‘flourishing hypermobile’ and the ‘floundering hypermobile’. The former either deny the health implications of frequent business travel, or present strategies to actively overcome them, while the latter seek solace in the public dissemination of the health warnings: they highlight their passivity in the construction of their identity as hypermobile and its associated health implications. The findings reveal a segment of business travellers who wish to reduce travel, but perceive this as beyond their locus of control. Business travel reductions are thus unlikely to happen through the agency of individual travellers, but rather by changes in the structural factors that influence human resource and corporate travel management policies.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01675468
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 22 2018 12:35PM