Document Type



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


Sociology, 5.7 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, Cultural and economic geography

Publication Details

Journal of Policy Research in Tourism Leisure and Events. Published online April 2018, DOI: 10.1080/19407963.2018.1465067


The study reported here investigates the role that planned social gatherings play in shaping social connections, forging group identity and re-affirming connections with significant ‘home’ places within families where relationships extend across space. Empirically, it draws on a study of the Gathering, a 2013 national tourism initiative that encouraged people in Ireland to organise ‘gatherings’ to attract ‘home’ family members scattered across the globe. It reports data generated using mixed methods administered in two Irish counties. The findings demonstrate the profound meanings that the gatherings had for participating family members. The events served to strengthen existing family ties and to create new ones both between family members separated by geographic distance and spread across family generations. They further served to renew and revitalise connections with the family ‘home’ place, to enhance a sense of belonging for the family units studied and to strengthen family identity.



Failte Ireland