Is there a Field of Tourism Studies?


  • Bertrand Réau Senior Lecturer, University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne-EHESS, Researcher at European Center of Sociology and Political Science (CNRS-EHESS-Paris1)-CESSP, Office n° 504, 190 avenue de France, 75013 Paris, France; email:


International circulation of knowledge, sociology of science, conceptual research, methodological research, Elias, Bourdieu.


This paper questions the status of tourism studies and invites academics to participate in an international "collective reflexivity". The author proposes conceptual and methodological tools for scientifically analysing the tourism studies area. The article articulates three dimensions of scientific activity most often treated separately: the institutional and cognitive dimensions and the analysis of audiences. The study suggests that the concept of field proposed by Bourdieu as well as the notions of “configuration” and “interdependency chains” proposed by Norbert Elias allow tourism scholars to account for these dimensions.




How to Cite

Réau, B. (2016). Is there a Field of Tourism Studies?. European Journal of Tourism Research, 14, 5–15. Retrieved from