Israeli Backpacking Since the 1960s: Institutionalization and its Effects

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This article explores empirical and theoretical aspects concerning the heightened state of institutionalization of backpacking tourism. The exploration is accomplished through examining the evolution of Israeli backpacking in Asia and South America over the past four decades, and the effects of institutionalization on the tourist experience. From a theoretical perspective, the article seeks to illustrate modern processes of institutionalization through a conceptualization of three, interrelated dimensions: changes in the personal experience, social and cultural vicissitudes in social systems, and organizational processes. From an empirical point of view, these dimensions are considered across three phases of evolution, during which they have undergone significant concomitant changes. This has resulted in the gradual transformation of backpacking from a liminal and marginal practice, in which few alienated individuals participated during the sixties of the twentieth century, to a massive and normative form of a touristic rite of passage in contemporary Israeli society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2006 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


  • Israeli society
  • backpacking
  • history of tourism
  • institutionalization
  • interpersonal communication
  • social change


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