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Title: Foreign affaires : a sociological exploration of 'holiday romance'.
Author: Thomas, Michelle.
Awarding Body: University of Wales.Cardiff
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 1999
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'Holiday romance' is a term used in everyday language to refer to new sexual and romantic relationships that occur on holiday (usually abroad). Whilst there have been a number of quantitative studies exploring the sexual behaviour of travellers, little is known about the context in which these relationships occur and the meanings they have to the individuals involved. The aim of this study was to explore women's understandings and experiences of holiday romance. This was a qualitative exploration which involved focus groups and in-depth interviews with women of a range of ages. Women who participated in focus groups had travelled abroad without a partner in the last two years and women who participated in in-depth interviews had had a new romantic or sexual relationship abroad in the last two years. Women's retrospective accounts were used to examine how holidays compare and contrast to everyday life and how new sexual relationships abroad are negotiated and maintained through time and space. Particular attention was given to the process of negotiating sexual intimacy, and how decisions are made and accounted for. It was found that holidays were seen as a period distinct and removed from everyday life. There was a change in the experience of time: on holiday time became compressed and often inverted. The nature of new sexual relationships abroad varied from romantic relationships that involved emotional attachment and intimacy, to 'holiday flings' which were based on mutual attraction and sexual gratification. Physical intimacy within these relationships was negotiated through a system of silent signs and signals and was typically led by the male partner. This study showed that sexual intercourse was seen as the inevitable end point of sexual intimacy and an increasingly expected part of a relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Women; Relationships; Sexual