Cohen, S., 2009. Chasing a myth? Lifestyle travellers and the search for 'self'. In: ATLAS Annual Conference: Experiencing Difference, Changing Tourism and Tourists' Experiences, 27-29 May 2009, Aalborg University, Denmark. (Unpublished)
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Within the wider backpacker market, there exist a small proportion of individuals for whom extended leisure travel is not a rite-of-passage or transition to another life stage, but is instead a preferred lifestyle that the individual returns to repeatedly. For these ‘lifestyle travellers’, their travels can be underpinned by processes of identity (de)formation. This interpretive paper highlights findings from the researcher’s fieldwork with lifestyle travellers in northern India and southern Thailand in 2007. Semi-structured, in-depth interviewing and participant observation were used to explore the meaning(s) that lifestyle travellers may attach to ‘self’. A thread that linked the majority of the lifestyle travellers was the Romantic modern belief that each individual has an essential inner self that can be actualised or realised. Although their approaches to searching for self differed, most of the respondents sought to learn about and develop their inner self. This finding is considered in light of opposing theoretical perspectives on self and identity that have highlighted the notion of an inner self as a historical social construction and have instead conceptualised selves as relational and in flux. As such, this paper explores a paradox that may exist for lifestyle travellers that search for self. Furthermore, the theoretical implications of this finding are extended to question tourism scholarship that has been predicated on experiencing one’s authentic self.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Subjects:||Social Sciences > Sociology|
Social Sciences > Tourism
|Group:||School of Tourism > Centre for Event and Sport Research|
|Deposited By:||Dr Scott Cohen LEFT|
|Deposited On:||26 Jan 2010 20:15|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:20|
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