Liberalism, Lack and 'Living the Dream': Reconsidering the attractions of alcohol-based leisure for young tourists in Magaluf, Majorca

Ellis, Anthony, Winlow, Simon, Briggs, Daniel, Esquinas, Antonio Silva, Verdugo, Rebeca Cordero and Suárez, Jorge Ramiro Pérez (2018) Liberalism, Lack and 'Living the Dream': Reconsidering the attractions of alcohol-based leisure for young tourists in Magaluf, Majorca. Journal of Extreme Anthropology, 2 (2). pp. 22-41. ISSN 2535-3241

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Much of the academic literature on alcohol-based leisure focuses on the pleasures of hedonism and youthful cultural exploration in environments free from the prescriptions, pressures and routines of everyday life. In this article – in which we present data from our ongoing ethnographic research exploring the experiences and attitudes of young British tourists in the Spanish resort of Magaluf on the island of Majorca – we argue that the standard liberal social-scientific image of youth leisure is naive and misrepresents its variegated reality. Our research indicates that many young British tourists gain little contentment from their holiday in the sun. Rather than embarking on a leisure experience composed of boundless freedom, choice, indulgence, excess and that is indicative of personal consumer sovereignty, many of our interviewees could identify the regimented and commodified nature of alcohol-based tourism. Rather than satisfaction, they felt an imprecise dissatisfaction. Drawing upon elements of psychoanalytic theory, we argue that underneath our interviewees’ accounts of drunkenness and promiscuity lies an obdurate but imprecise sense of lack. Yet, it is precisely this absence which only recharges their motivation to do more of the same the year after in similar destinations, thus confirming the presence, power and domination of consumer sovereignty.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Youth, Alcohol, Night Time Economy, Consumer Culture, Neoliberalism
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2022 15:11
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2022 15:15

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