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‘Finding a ‘place’ through dwelling in travel’: intersections between mobility, place and identity in lifestyle travel

Erskine, Kathryn 2013. ‘Finding a ‘place’ through dwelling in travel’: intersections between mobility, place and identity in lifestyle travel. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The world is increasingly mobile (Adey 2006). Flows of good, services and cultures are changing the relations between people and place, leading scholars to questions existing notions of home, travel, and belonging. This thesis explores these issues by focusing on one group who epitomise the twenty-first century world of mobility: lifestyle travellers. The thesis considers the experiences of lifestyle travellers across numerous world-wide locations, drawing on primary data collected over two years. It adopts an explicitly geographical approach to studying lifestyle travel, focusing attention on the significance of place and movement for these highly mobile beings, in order to examine what this mobility means for ideas of identity and home. Complementing research in the tourism field, the research highlights how lifestyle travel is a heterogeneous and difficult to classify activity, involving a myriad of different ideas, practices, behaviours and motivations. However, by adopting Cresswell’s ‘constellations of mobility’ (2010) as an organising rather than classifying device, the thesis is able to unpack this diversity and illuminate the embroilment of ‘mobilities’ and ‘moorings’ in the practices of lifestyle travellers. It goes on to demonstrate how place immersion is crucial to lifestyle travel, illustrating how practices of mobility extend past corporeal movement between places, exploring the unique and diverse practices within places. This pursuit of integration within places by lifestyle travellers shows how place and mobility can be complementary rather than exclusionary, with different immersion techniques outlined to demonstrate the different depths of place experience desired by participants (ranging from ‘spectating’ at the peripheries to becoming ‘community members’ within places). From these findings, the research emphasises how place itself is mobile, as well as lifestyle travellers. By illustrating the relational ways in which lifestyle travellers continually take and make place, the thesis uncovers new ways of conceptualising ‘home’ that are formed through the co-constituent relationship between place and mobility. The thesis therefore demonstrates these factors to be significant and mutually enabling components to the identities of lifestyle travellers in the twenty first century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Uncontrolled Keywords: Place, identity, mobility, lifestyle travel, relational geography, liminality, home, belonging, place immersion, Couch Surfing, volunteering, employment, work, integration, mobile methods
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:05

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