|dc.description.abstract||This thesis explores lived experiences of care at the nexus of intellectual disability and leisure travel, notably among a sample of carers and people with intellectual disabilities, whose voices are otherwise absent in much previous tourism scholarship. The originality of this research therefore lies in its approach, which favours the cognisance of situated, contextual and value-laden care experiences between self and other, privileging subjective and inter-subjective ways of knowing, and humanising the intricacies of the participants’ individual, relational and emotional lives.
In this way, this thesis seeks to honour the participants’ authentic voices, positionalities and subjectivities as they narrate their lived experiences. It offers, thus, a person-centred, strengths- and abilities-based approach to inclusive tourism research. As such, this research adopts a Heideggerian interpretive phenomenological approach, exploratory in its nature and qualitative in its design. The data has been collected through in-depth, semi-structured interviewing with fifteen carers and nine people with intellectual disabilities. The data was then thematically analysed, inductively eliciting a depth and richness of meaning embedded in the participants’ experiential knowledge, iteratively and recursively negotiated with the theoretical knowledge.
Findings of this thesis define the leisure travel phenomenon both as a meaningful experience in and of itself, and as the situated context in which carers and people with intellectual disabilities make sense of, and ascribe meaning to, their lived experiences of care. The analysis reveals three key emergent themes: giving, attunement, and (in)visibility. Experiences of care at the nexus of intellectual disability and leisure travel, indeed, are a labour of love. They reflect a complex and dynamic (re)negotiation of the paradoxical tensions involved in being in between two worlds, and span practical, emotional and socio-political caring spheres. This thesis concludes with implications for (re)imagining the transformative potential of tourism through an ethic of care as an ethos to guide our social relations, wherein we meet one another morally.||