Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series
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2.4 Previous Research
This thesis makes use of a wide interdisciplinary body of work to support the multiplicities of digital nomad experiences, stemming mainly from ethnographic and tourism studies. The theoretical basis is on Foucauldian theories of (bio)power as well as the Deleuzian notion of nomadology. Also, theories of semiotics were used to initially approach the phenomenon. The above-mentioned combination reflects the larger processes in which digital nomads are entangled, such as travel, tourism, mobility, work and sociability which are interconnected and not bound to specific locations and timeframes (leisure time/work time).
Previous research regarding digital nomadism and nomadic professionals, in general, has been attempted primarily by academics in the field of tourism. They explore working and traveling from a tourist industry perspective and focus on the mobility aspect (Franks, 2016) and on how the phenomenon of global (not just digital) nomads can be explained and understood through tourism studies (Kannisto et al., 2014). The above-mentioned papers study digital nomads as a separate group of travelers and consumers within the experience economy, following the pioneering work of John Urry (2006; 2000), who tried to understand contemporary societies and meaning as reflected on the “tourist gaze.” The chosen research areas bring together both traditional concerns about individuals’ relationships to societies and more modern issues, like the traveler vs. tourist dichotomy, as well as notions of mobility, power, productivity and sociability.
Anthony D’Andrea focused his work on the theoretical aspect of neo-nomadism and global hypermodernity by doing fieldwork among expatriates in Ibiza (D’Andrea, 2006), while Moravec (2008) speaks about the emergence of a “Knowmad Society”:
A nomadic knowledge worker –that is, a creative, imaginative, and innovative person who can work with almost anybody, anytime, and anywhere. Industrial society is giving way to knowledge and innovation work. Whereas industrialization required people to settle in one place to perform a very specific role or function, the jobs associated with knowledge and information workers have become much less specific concerning task and place. Moreover, technologies allow for these new paradigm workers to work within broader options of space, including “real,” virtual, or blended. Knowmads can instantly
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