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Digital nomads: A new form of leisure class?

Bonneau, C.; Aroles, J.

Digital nomads: A new form of leisure class? Thumbnail


C. Bonneau

J. Aroles


Jeremy Aroles

Francois-Xavier de Vaujany

Karen Dale


Digital nomadism refers to a mobile lifestyle in which freelancers, digital entrepreneurs and remote workers combine work with continuous travel. In this chapter, we draw from Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) to explore whether digital nomads can be seen to constitute a new form of leisure class. In particular, this entails problematising digital nomadism through four dimensions, namely differentiation, emulation, visibility and institutionalisation. Drawing from a qualitative analysis of the mainstream promotional discourse underlying digital nomadism, we show the existence of a whole set of economic activities based on selling a dreamed work/lifestyle to others. These commercial propositions, which rely on online storytelling and visibility, constitute efficient means of emulation that contribute to framing images of success. Our ‘Veblen-inspired’ analysis, we contend, generates a source of questions not only relevant to the study of digital nomadism, but also to miscellaneous aspects of the new world of work.


Bonneau, C., & Aroles, J. (2021). Digital nomads: A new form of leisure class?. In J. Aroles, F. de Vaujany, & K. Dale (Eds.), Experiencing the New World of Work (157-177). Cambridge University Press.

Online Publication Date Dec 24, 2021
Publication Date Jan 21, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 13, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 24, 2021
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Pages 157-177
Book Title Experiencing the New World of Work
Public URL


Accepted Book Chapter (317 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This material has been published in Experiencing the New World of Work edited by Aroles, Jeremy<br /> de Vaujany, Francois-Xavier and<br /> Dale, Karen. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. &copy; Cambridge University Press.

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