Off the beaten track: Alternative youth travel in the FRG (1960s - 1980s)


This project takes as its focus an aspect of alternative- and youth culture which, while important, has thus far been neglected in historical research. Alternative tourism will be analysed as a cultural and social practice, with emphasis on the travel practices, on travel styles, motivations for travelling, experiences and self-perception of an ever-growing demographic of travellers, who, since the 1960s, have rejected conventional, ready-made, styles of tourism in favour of a kind of self-organized Ausstieg auf Zeit. To begin with, the study of travel as a "specific field of lifestyle construction" (W. Georg) is helpful in the analysis of the alternative youth subculture. Furthermore, it will be examined how these unconventional forms of travel, generally associated with socially critical or anti-capitalist attitudes, have developed in relation to their increasing institutionalization and gradual integration into the mass-tourism industry in Germany, as well as to the discourse related to this issue (leisure- and consumer society, intercultural exchange, sustainable tourism, etc.).

  • Bertsch, Anja - Project leader
  • Department of History and Sociology with Educational Sciences, Empirical Educational Research and Sports Science
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Land Baden-Württemberg third-party funds research funding program 882/08
Exzellenzinitiative third-party funds research funding program 882/08
Further information
Period: 01.08.2008 – 31.10.2012