The Relationships Between Cultural Consumption, Identity and Holidays for the Over 50s

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GRIN Verlag, 2007 - 36 pages
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject Tourism, grade: 1,0, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, course: Advertising and Consumption, 34 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: For several decades now there has been a trend towards a declining birth rate and therefore rapid ageing of the British population. With good medical supplies, older people stay healthy and live longer: in the past twenty years life expectancy has risen from 70 years in 1981 to 75 years in 2001 for men, and from 76 to 80 years for women (Soule et al. 2005). When retiring in their 50 or 60s, people can expect to live twenty more years or longer. Soon people over 50, the post-war baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1965, will constitute the majority of the population. In contrast to people retiring in the 20th century, 21st century retirees are active and try to enjoy their leisure time. Although 'consumer society creates negative [...] images of later life, by implication, if not directly, by valuing and emphasizing youthful body image' (Morris 1998 in Bradley & Longino 2001, p.18), 'old' people immerse themselves in sports and other social activities, living life to the full. Holidays play an important part in this lifestyle as they are important for the 'individual and social improvement and development, the resultant benefit of the self, including social self, being transportable back into the everyday environment as part of an ongoing life experience' (McIntyre 2007, p.121). In the past decades, several travel operators have tried to buy into the mature market. They established brands for the over 50s, featuring names like First Choice's 'Leisurely Times', Thomson's 'Young at Heart', Cosmos' 'Golden Times' and Airtours' 'Golden Years' (Ylšnne-McEwen 2000), all off which basically offered beach holidays around Europe. Now their brochures have vanished from the market. They either have been replaced by updated concepts or been incorporated into the

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Page 4 - Thompson (1992) argues that people derive their sense of identity in later life from the achievements of the past and what remains to be accomplished in the future, rather than from a set of stereotypical — usually negative — attributes of old age. Unless they are ill or depressed, old people do not feel old "inside.
Page 7 - Edensor 2001) refers to this as the fact that 'tourism permits the release of more 'authentic' selves, where everyday masks are discarded. It offers opportunities to explore different identities, to take on new roles

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