Getting Away from It All

Vacations and Identity

Karen Stein
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1875-3
Publication: May 19

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1874-6
Publication: May 19

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1876-0
Publication: May 19

250 pages
6 x 9

Examines vacations as moments when people engage in voluntary identity shifts that both contrast and overlap with everyday life

Description

Vacations are a delimited period during which social rules and responsibilities are eased, removed, or shifted, and people have increased autonomy over what they choose to do. Recent trends in the travel industry emphasize the appeal of vacations for voluntary identity changes—when bankers can become bikers for a week or when “Momcations” allow mothers to leave their families behind. But how do our vacations allow us to shape our identity?

Getting Away from It All is a study of individuality and flexibility and the intersection of self-definition and social constraint. Karen Stein interviews vacationers about their travels and down time, focusing on “identity transitions.” She shows how objects, settings, temporal environments and social interactions limit or facilitate identity shifts, and how we arrange our vacations to achieve the shifts we desire. Stein also looks at the behavior, values, attitudes, and worldview of individuals to illuminate how people engage in either identity work or identity play.

Vacations say a lot about individuals. They signal class and economic standing and reveal aspirations and goals. Getting Away from It All insists that vacations are about more than just taking time off to relax and rejuvenate—they are about having some time to work on the person one wants to be.

About the Author(s)

Karen Stein is a Senior Research Analyst at Westat, a social science research firm.


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