#VanLife: Materiality, Makeovers and Mobility amongst Digital Nomads

Authors

  • Ulrike Gretzel Center for Public Relations Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
  • Anne Hardy Tasmanian School of Business and Economics University of Tasmania

Keywords:

vanlife, digital nomads, mobility, materiality, Instagram, netnography

Abstract

Information and communication technologies enable the emergence of new digital lifestyles that are characterized by high mobility. This paper explores #vanlife as an emerging phenomenon that inspires a hyper-mobile life on the road. It connects it to digital nomadism and compares and contrasts it to RVing/camping. Using the visual components and hashtags of 200 Instagram posts, it specifically delves into the role materiality plays for vanlifers and discusses how the seemingly opposite of materiality and mobility are reconciled in this context. The resulting portrait painted of #vanlife adds significant knowledge to the mobility, digital nomadism and online consumer tribe literatures. Methodological and practical implications are also discussed.

Author Biographies

  • Ulrike Gretzel, Center for Public Relations Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

    Ulrike Gretzel is a senior fellow at the USC Center for Public Relations. Her research focuses on persuasion, technology-mediated experiences and human-technology interaction in the context of tourism.

  • Anne Hardy, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics University of Tasmania

    Anne Hardy is the Co-Director of the Tourism Research and Education Network (TRENd) at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Anne’s research interests include the use of tourist tracking technology, tourist behaviour, and sustainable tourism development.

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Published

2019-01-30

Issue

Section

Articles

How to Cite

“#VanLife: Materiality, Makeovers and Mobility amongst Digital Nomads” (2019) e-Review of Tourism Research, 16(2/3). Available at: https://ertr-ojs-tamu.tdl.org/ertr/article/view/325 (Accessed: 13 July 2024).

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