The nexilitas factor : host-guest relationships in small owner managed commercial accommodation facilities in contemporary South Africa

Von Lengeling, Volkher Heinrich Christoph (2011) The nexilitas factor : host-guest relationships in small owner managed commercial accommodation facilities in contemporary South Africa. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

The commercialization of hospitality established arguably the oldest profession. Historically small commercial hospitality establishments, known as inns in the western world, were of ill repute. Perhaps connected to their reputation, this category of accommodation facility has been seriously neglected as an area of academic inquiry, particularly from the perspective of the host. While there has been a huge growth in the interdisciplinary field of tourism studies in recent decades, little attention has been paid to the role of the host in the host-guest relationship at whatever level of analysis. This thesis seeks to redress the balance. Hospitality is a basic form of social bonding. This type of bonding, where a hierarchy between strangers is implicit (as with hosts and guests), may be termed ‘nexilitas’; nexilitas is a form of social bonding in liminal circumstances. To that extent it is comparable to ‘communitas’ which describes social bonding between equals in certain liminal circumstances. The difference is that nexilitas is a form of bonding between individuals in a complex power relationship. The host controls the hospitality space, but custom also empowers the guest with certain expectations, especially in the commercial context. The thesis identifies the various forms of hospitality – traditional ‘true’ or ‘pure’ hospitality, social hospitality, cultural hospitality and commercial hospitality – and discusses these critically in their historical and cross-cultural contexts, with emphasis on the perspective of the host. The passage of hospitality is then traced through the three phases of preliminality, liminality and post-liminality and discussed along the themes anticipation, arrival and accommodation and finally departure of the guest. While the historical and ethnographic review is mainly based on written histories and the experiences of other anthropologists as guests as well as ethnographers, the passage of hospitality draws on the multi-sited auto-anthropological experiences of the author, both as host and as ethnographer of contemporary South African hosts in small owner-managed commercial hospitality establishments.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hospitality industry, South Africa, Interpersonal relations, Liminality, Consumer behavior, Home-based businesses
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Anthropology
Supervisors:Palmer, Robin
ID Code:2878
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:29 May 2012 14:12
Last Modified:29 May 2012 14:12
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