Holiday Home, Sweet Home: A Phenomenological Approach to Second Home Living in Ireland
University of Wales
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This study constructs a phenomenological account of the second home living experience in Ireland, exploring the interactions between the everyday home life and the holiday home life of the second home owner. It is contextualized by a critical review of the relevant literatures on post-modernism, cosmopolitanism, home and second home living. The thesis utilises a package of participant-centred qualitative methodologies (including in-depth interviews, audio diaries and participants’ photographs) in order to produce a fine-grained insight into their experiences of second home living. The fieldwork consists of two phases, the first based on in-depth interviews with second home owners and the second based on a further series of in-depth interviews driven by the participants’ audio diaries and photographs. The key themes to emerge from the first phase of this study are: everyday life; family life; friends and neighbours; frequency of use, access, mobility and transcendence; other holidays; activities in the second home; acquisition of home; primary home; attachment and rituals. The second phase of the study was developed to explore these in greater detail and it emerges that there is considerable overlap between the 'everyday' or primary home lives and the 'holiday' or second home lives of the participants of the study. It is suggested that holiday home life constitutes a 'stripped down' version of home that allows for more 'living'. The study thus examines the very essence of what we understand tourism to be; tourism cannot be understood except in relation to 'home', it is our point of departure into a place and space that is different. The study reveals that in the case of second home living home remains an integral part of the tourism experience. It concludes that while there are similarities between everyday home life and everyday holiday home life, the everyday and the touristic, there are significant differences. It is also clear, however, that the holiday home owners do not find this ambiguity uncomfortable and indeed they flit between homes with practised ease.
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