Cohen, S., 2009. (Re)configuring self through lifestyle travel: 'finding one's self' deconstructed. In: Leisure Studies Association Conference: Participating, Planning, Providing, 7-9 July 2009, Canterbury Christchurch University, Kent, England. (Unpublished)
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An increasing number of individuals are electing to leave the comforts and security of their ‘home’ societies in exchange for the experience of long-term travel. For some individuals, travel can become a lifestyle which is no longer a time-out from ‘normality’, but is instead a preferred way of life that the individual returns to repeatedly. This interpretive paper highlights findings from the researcher’s fieldwork experience with ‘lifestyle travellers’ in northern India and southern Thailand in 2007. A semi-structured, open-ended interviewing technique and participant observation were used to explore why individuals travel as a lifestyle alternative. Issues of self-identity (de)formation emerged as a primary pattern from the narratives of the majority of the respondents. While leisure travel has been suggested as a context conducive to self-identity work (Desforges 2000, Neumann 1992), previous research has not questioned whether or not individuals perceive a more unified sense of self-identity as a result of travel. Indeed, lifestyle travel exists within a post-traditional context through which individuals are exposed to an array of cultural praxes. This paper reports on a spectrum of self-identity perceptions of lifestyle travellers that had hoped to derive a more unified sense of ‘self’ whilst immersed in alternate ways of life. Framed within Giddens’ (1991) description of late modernity as increasingly fragmented and a Foucauldian (1988) understanding of selves as multiple, in flux and discursively constructed, this paper questions the promise of ‘finding one’s self’ through travel.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||Social Sciences > Sociology|
Arts > Sports
Social Sciences > Tourism
|Group:||School of Tourism > Centre for Event and Sport Research|
|Deposited By:||Dr Scott Cohen LEFT|
|Deposited On:||26 Jan 2010 20:04|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:20|
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