Travelling to the ancestral homeland: the aspirations and experiences of a UK Caribbean community.

Stephenson, Marcus L. (2002) Travelling to the ancestral homeland: the aspirations and experiences of a UK Caribbean community. Current Issues in Tourism, 5 (5). pp. 378-425. ISSN 1368-3500

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Abstract

This paper is based on an ethnographic study of the Caribbean community of Moss Side,Manchester (UK). Its aimis to reveal, interpretand analyse the personal meanings which members of the community attach to visiting the ancestral homeland in the Caribbean. This form of travel is defined in terms of ‘ethnic reunion’, which involves travelling for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives and/or searching for one’s cultural roots. The study, which is based on an interpretive analysis of a range of ethnographic material,initially examines the reasons why first- and second-generation Caribbeans wish to participate in the ‘homeland experience’, and then illustrates ways in which they reconstruct an identity of themselves through their travel perceptions and experiences. The latter part of the paper discusses how people’s travel encounters serve to illustrate how ethnic differences and boundaries between groups are constructed and/or reconstructed. It is argued that established perspectives of tourism motivation and behaviour do not fully account for the role of ethnicity as a significant variable in influencing specific forms of travel. The conclusion asserts that ethnic reunion should be conceptually viewed as a distinct form of ‘travel’, socio culturally dissimilar to conventional forms of ‘tourism’.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
ID Code:202
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Deposited On:27 Oct 2008 13:23
Last Modified:03 Jan 2014 10:12

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