Drs. A. Chaplin

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+31 20 59 86704
faculteit der sociale wetenschappen ( afd. sociale en culturele antropologie )

Monday till Friday; please call me or send an e-mail for an appointment.       

Promo Master Anthropology



  • Tourism
  • Hospitality exchange networks (e.g. CouchSurfing)
  • Anthropology of authenticity
  • Media and mediation
  • Othering

Regionale specialisatie:
South-Eastern Europe (Serbia, the former Yugoslavia)


This PhD research project focuses on Couchsurfing, an international hospitality exchange network that facilitates intimate encounters in the homes of other members while travelling. I investigate how CouchSurfing’s attempts to overcome one-dimensional forms of ‘othering’ work out in practice, theorising how hosts and guests who meet in person – and in ‘everyday’ settings like the home – rework second-hand information (e.g. media images) about each other through a travel network that seeks to authenticate a cosmopolitan view on (cultural) diversity. The project further is designed to give a new impetus to debates about authenticity in relation to tourism and travel, emphasising the importance of aesthetic-stylistic concerns for people who engage in exploring and connecting. My research mainly takes place in Serbia.


Publications (Source: VU METIS)


2012 ‘“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”: understanding the ‘CouchSurfing’ network’s im-mediate encounters,’ MA Thesis Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam.

2012 ‘Continued lack of knowledge about Eastern Neighbours despite EU integration,’ In: Youth & diversity in Europe: Our Future-European Union 2012 – Serbia, Kosovo and the Netherlands. Belgrade: Manuarta.