Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Sociology, Cultural and economic geography, Social sciences

Publication Details

Tourism; An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 53 (No.4).


The focus of this article is the experience of the tourist as s/he moves between ordinary everyday non-tourist life and tourist life in the current postmodern consumption context.

A comprehensive review of the existing literature on second home consumption is presented. There is some emphasis on how it is practised by the Irish second home owner. This is a group that has been identified as being relatively under-researched in a consumer behaviour context; it is a group thst is affluent, growing and heterogeneous (Mottiar and Quinn 2003).

The vacation home is a complex issue within tourism being viewed as 'a space between the ordinary and the extraordinary' (Aronsson 2004:76). There is a perspective that study of second home owners 'would assist in the search of a more universal understanding of what is means to the tourist to be a tourist' (Jaakson 1986:389); the themes generated in the study of second home owners are useful in the study of tourist consumers in a general sense.

The literature on postmodernism would suggest that the contemporary consumer eschews a sense of rootedness and belongingness. This article problematises this contention by asking whether second home owners are seeking a sanctuary away from home as opposed to a disconnected series of random destinations.