“I Decided to Invest in My Kids' Memories”: Family Vacations, Memories, and the Social Construction of the Family

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Abstract:

This article explores the cultural significance of family vacations and the role that these vacations play in the social construction of the family. Based on a series of semistructured interviews with members of families living in Ontario, Canada, the article examines the meanings and experiences associated with family vacations for parents of school aged children. Family vacations were seen as a form of escape from the pressures of everyday life, even though they involved organizational and emotional work, especially for mothers. Family vacations were valued as an opportunity for family togetherness and for improving patterns of family communication. Of particular importance was the long-term goal of creating memories that would enhance family cohesion and construct and support a positive sense of family. The findings indicate that the cultural meanings associated with family vacations, at least for these Canadian families, may be different in some important ways from other forms of tourism.

Keywords: FAMILIES; FAMILY VACATIONS; MEMORIES; SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/109830408783900361

Publication date: April 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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