ognizant Communication Corporation

An Interdisciplinary Journal


Tourism Review International, Volume 9, pp. 123-137
1544-2721/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Recapturing the Adventuress: Narratives on Identity and Gendered Positioning in Backpacking

Torun Elsrud

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kalmar University, Sweden

Abstract: This article discusses the gendered construction of adventure. It argues that adventurous women often find themselves "caught" in discursive confusion. One discourse allows them sanctioned access to arenas previously considered masculine territory. Yet, another discourse, equating adventure with masculinity, is still present in (adventure) travel texts and stories, forcing women to negotiate their way through the adventure. These negotiations appear as creative attempts to construct self-identities, in which compliance to norms, but also emancipative statements and irony, are important. The article also touches upon matters of epistemological concern. Acknowledging that women have to relate to discourses originating from and within masculine hegemonic conditions, gender studies into arenas considered masculine, such as independent traveling, must also account for the presence of feminine discourses. Only by granting women the capacity to carry their own stories can their presence in historic development be acknowledged. More research focusing entirely on women's tales of traveling will probably foster a perspective in which women deserve credit, as well as responsibility for the good and the bad within tourism practice. The arguments emanate from reading travel media, interviews, and fieldwork within a qualitative ethnographically inspired project focusing mainly on women solo travelers from Northern Europe to various backpacker destinations.

Key words: Adventure; Masculinity; Femininity; Irony; Emancipation; Discourse; Northern Europe

Address correspondence to Dr. Torun Elsrud, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kalmar University, 39182, Sweden. Tel: +46 480 446024; Fax: +46 480 446466; Email: Torun.Elsrud@hik.se

Tourism Review International, Volume 9, pp. 139-154
1544-2721/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Women's Holidays: Disruption of the Motherhood Myth

Jennie Small

School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Abstract: This article reports holiday experiences at age 40 of women who were mothers with a child under the age of 15 years. Current 40-year-old (the women were aged in their 40s but for ease of discussion I have referred to them as aged 40) women and women aged 65+ recalled holiday experiences at age 40. The research method was memory-work in which individuals wrote about tourist experiences and then discussed their experiences with a group of similarly aged participants in order to understand how the experience was socially constructed. Themes were identified from the discussion. A major finding at this life stage was the freedom the women sought from their positions as women and mothers. Despite the fact that many women at this age were in paid employment, the freedom of which they wrote and spoke was not freedom from their paid jobs but freedom from their unpaid positions as carers of house, pets, husband, children, and others. However, it was freedom from the care of children that emerged as the prominent feature of a good holiday experience. This finding contradicts the popular literature on women's travel, which accentuates the joys and rewards of traveling with children. While acknowledging that family holidays had some benefits as a time for family sharing and education for children, the women yearned for a space of their own, to experience the freedom of travel and holidays that others (nonmothers) appear to enjoy. Disrupting the myth of the forever-caring, uncomplaining mother, the women highlighted the never-ending physical and emotional work of motherhood both at home and when traveling. The constraints to leisure were many but the women demonstrated the means by which they resisted the motherhood discourse and found a leisure space for themselves. The implications of the findings are relevant to the travel and tourism industry if women are to experience the freedom that holidays and travel can offer.

Key words: Women; Motherhood; Tourist experience; Memory-work; Australian

Address correspondence to Jennie Small, Lecturer, School of Leisure, Sport and Tourism, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 222, Lindfield NSW 2070, Australia. Tel: +61 (02)-9514-5109; Fax: +61 (2) 9514-5195; E-mail: Jennie.Small@uts.edu.au

Tourism Review International, Volume 9, pp. 155-175
1544-2721/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

A "Relative Escape"? The Impact of Constraints on Women Who Travel Solo

Erica Wilson1 and Donna E. Little2

1School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Southern Cross University, Australia
2Department of Sport and Leisure Studies, School of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Abstract: Women in contemporary Western society have increased options, resources, and opportunities to access a greater array of tourism and leisure choices. Yet the freedoms women have to consume these choices, and to access satisfying leisure and travel experiences, may be constrained by their social and gendered location as females. Leisure-based research has shown that women tend to be more highly and intensely constrained in their leisure pursuits, particularly when these activities are undertaken out of the home or in the outdoors. Little research, however, has explored how constraints impact on women's experiences in a tourism context, especially when they travel "solo." This article presents results of a qualitative, exploratory study of 40 Australian women's experiences of solo travel. In-depth interviews with these women reveal that constraints do exist and exert influence on their lives and travel experiences in a myriad of ways. Four interlinking categories of constraint were identified through a grounded approach to data analysis: sociocultural, personal, practical, and spatial. Further definition of these categories evolved, depending on where the women were situated in their travel experience (i.e., "pretravel" or "during travel"). The women's solo travel constraints will be presented and defined in this article, and practical implications for the tourism industry will also be discussed.

Key words: Constraints; Women; Solo travel; Tourist experience; Gender; Leisure; Australia

Address correspondence to Dr. Erica Wilson, Lecturer, School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Division of Business, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Military Road, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 6620 3151; Fax: +61 (2) 6622 2208; E-mail: ewilson@scu.edu.au

Tourism Review International, Volume 9, pp. 177-193
1544-2721/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Caught in the Irons: One of the Lived Experiences of Long-Term Ocean Cruising Women

Gayle R. Jennings

Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, Australia

Abstract: One of the reasons why women participate in long-term ocean cruising is because of relationship commitments. During 1992-1999 and 2000-2003, ethnographic studies informed by the traditions of symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and feminist inquiry were conducted. Materials collected were analyzed using grounded theory and the Pamphilon zoom model. A Marxist/socialist feminist critique emerged from the interpretation of empirical materials. This critique demonstrated that some women had a lived experience that involved exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, and cultural imperialism. The experience relegated them to the domestic sphere of the cruising/sailing enterprise as well as excluded them from decision making as they were psychically and economically dependent on their cruising partners. However, the cruising women argued that such a critique avoided the issue of affect or that women can be both subjects and agents. Subsequently, the cruising women were engaging in empowered connectivity (i.e., choosing with whom and what they wished to stay connected). The study provides an example of a holistic, interdisciplinary, qualitative study of independent travel that makes visible the lived experiences of cruising women traveling because of relationships.

Key words: Ethnography; Participant observation; Feminist perspectives; Empowered connectivity; Australia

Address correspondence to Dr. Gayle R. Jennings, Department of Tourism, Leisure, Hotel and Sport Management, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, Australia. Tel: (61) 7 55528798; Fax: (61) 7 55528507; E-mail: g.jennings@griffith.edu.au

Tourism Review International, Volume 9, pp. 195-211
1544-2721/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

"We're Not Stupid...But We'll Not Stay Home Either": Experiences of Solo Women Travelers

Fiona Jordan1 and Heather Gibson2

1School of Geography and Environmental Management, University of West England, UK
2Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management, University of Florida, USA

Abstract: Since 1998 we have been researching the experiences of British and American women who take solo holidays. These women are leisure travelers who choose to vacation by themselves, as opposed to solo business travelers. The purpose of this study has been to explore why and how these women travel alone, their experiences both good and bad, and the many meanings that solo travel has for them. Our data, collected during 60 in-depth interviews with women from the US and the UK aged between 20 and 70 years, have been analyzed using a poststructuralist feminist framework. In particular we draw upon the theories of Foucault, poststructural theorization of leisure and tourism, and ideas about the sexualization of space. In this article, we discuss three themes evident in the women's travel experiences: surveillance, resistance, and empowerment.

Key words: Women travelers; Experiences; Solo travel; UK; US

Address correspondence to Dr. Fiona Jordan, School of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK. Tel: +44 117 32 81501; Fax: +44 117 32 83071; E-mail: Fiona.Jordan@uwe.ac.uk

Tourism Review International, Volume 9, pp. 213-227
1544-2721/05 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2005 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The "Journeys" of Independence for Female Backpackers

William L. Obenour

Division of Sport Management, Recreation, and Tourism, Bowling Green University, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to construct a hermeneutic understanding of the significance of the journey for female backpackers. This research adopts an interpretive perspective with a forestructure of understanding that includes concepts related to the journey, constraints to travel, liminal space as configured in Urry's gaze, Wearing and Wearing's chora, and Wang's typology of authenticity. The methods were based on the philosophical assumptions of hermeneutics and the meaning-based model that emphasizes the empowerment of the individual's voice, generates narrative and holistic data, and comprises an analysis at the idiographic level and then the nomothetic level. In-depth narrative interviews were gathered from 27 independent female travelers residing at an urban budget hostel in the US or who just completed their journeys involving hostels. The nomothetic themes consisted of the following: a) emancipation from overcoming the constraints of traveling alone while on a journey, b) liminal encounters in gendered space for the female backpackers and the role of the gaze and chora, and c) engaging the existential authenticity of self-making through independence. The significance of the backpackers' journeys involved the marginalization from home and from the liminal space that contributes to the existential self-making of a journey.

Key words: Female; Journey; Chora; Gaze; Hermeneutic; Authenticity; Marginalization; US

Address correspondence to Dr. William L. Obenour, Division of Sport Management, Recreation, and Tourism, School of Human Movement, Sport Management, and Leisure Studies, Bowling Green University, 214 Eppler North, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA. Tel: (419) 334-3041; Fax: (419) 372-0383; E-mail: wobeno@bgnet.bgsu.edu