Socio-industrial constructions of families’ and children’s holiday experiences
This chapter explores how children’s and families’ holiday experiences are constructed by society and the tourism industry. As part of this it is necessary to begin the chapter by examining the concept of play and its importance to children and social definitions of childhood. How play is defined and perceived by adults and children has implications for the nature of the holidays the latter group experiences, as will be demonstrated throughout this book. Alongside play, this chapter focuses on the concept of the ‘happy family’, which is viewed by society as a product of family togetherness. As such, the chapter provides a detailed discussion of notions of family togetherness from the perspectives of society, parents and children. The concept of the ‘good parent’ as someone who ensures the happiness and togetherness of their family emerges from this discussion. The ideas of the happy family and good parent are important as they inform much of the debate throughout the rest of the book, regarding the nature of the holiday experiences parents seek for their children and the potential for conflict between parents and children regarding the holidays they wish to undertake. As this chapter shows, this conflict may be at least partially a result of differing perceptions of family togetherness from the perspectives of children and parents.