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Is a self-catering holiday with the family really a holiday for mothers? Examining the balance of household responsibilities while on holiday from a female perspective

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The commonly cited definition of what constitutes a holiday is that it is a change from the norm, or an escape from everyday life. But is this the case if tourists are going on a self-catering holiday where many of the tasks from everyday life such as cleaning, minding children and cooking must still be undertaken? This research is specifically interested in the role of mothers, from their own perspective, on such holidays. It explores how household responsibilities are divided between partners when on holiday and questions does this differ from the situation when at home? In so doing this article adds to our understanding about the holiday experience from a gendered perspective. This study has found that actual experience while on holiday does differ according to gender. It is clear that while self-catering holidays are an ‘escape’ from the everyday, women and mothers’ genderized roles are often maintained.A mixed-method approach involving two surveys and focus groups was employed. The field work for the study was undertaken in the Greater Dublin Area.

Keywords: gender; household chores; household responsibilities; mother; self-catering holidays; women

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Dublin Institute of Technology

Publication date: November 2, 2012

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  • Hospitality & Society is an international multidisciplinary social sciences journal focusing upon hospitality and exploring its connections with wider social and cultural processes and structures. The journal welcomes submissions from various disciplines and aims to be an interactive forum expanding frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the literature on hospitality social science. Articles that stimulate debate, discussion and exchange across disciplines are welcomed, as well as review essays or short topical pieces that are provocative and problematic in nature.
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