Self-identity (de)formation among lifestyle travellers in northern India and Thailand: the double-edged sword of globalisation.

Cohen, S., 2008. Self-identity (de)formation among lifestyle travellers in northern India and Thailand: the double-edged sword of globalisation. In: CONTACT: An Interdisciplinary Challenge in Cultural Studies Conference , 25-26 September 2008, University of Western Sydney, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

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 a preferred way of life that the individual returns to repeatedly. This paper highlights results from the researcher’s fieldwork experience with lifestyle travelers in northern India and 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 emerged as a primary pattern from the narratives of the majority of the respondents. It is suggested that the context of the long-term travel lifestyle in northern India and Thailand is conducive to self-identity (re)structuring. Interviewees commonly cited globalising and technological forces that foment their contemporary mobilities. As such, globalisation not only facilitates increased contact with other ways of living, which may help to draw or push the respondents to engage in travel, but is in itself simultaneously contributed to and strengthened by the transnational movements of lifestyle travelers. Similarly, while increased exposure to other cultures may provide the interviewees with further images with which to construct perceived ideas of self, an over saturation of life options may also lead the individual to a confused sense of self-identity.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:Social Sciences > Communication, Cultural and Media Studies
Social Sciences > Sociology
Social Sciences > Tourism
Group:School of Tourism
ID Code:12833
Deposited By:Dr Scott Cohen LEFT
Deposited On:26 Jan 2010 20:23
Last Modified:07 Mar 2013 15:20

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