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Title: Wander Women: Exploring the Gendered Experiences of Singapore’s Solo Travellers
Authors: Lim Siang Yee
Keywords: feminist geography, solo travel, geography of women’s fear, gendered landscapes of fear, negotiation, heterotopia
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Lim Siang Yee (2015). Wander Women: Exploring the Gendered Experiences of Singapore’s Solo Travellers. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Global tourism has witnessed phenomenal growth in past decades. The advent of technological advancements and the rise in women’s financial autonomy has led to an increasing number of independent women travelers. However, there is a dearth of literature on women’s solo travels within leisure and tourism studies. This research explores the gendered dimensions of solo travel, from the perspectives of Singaporean women. It examines the discursive messages surrounding women's solo travel, as well as the various constraining and motivational factors that women face prior to their solo trips. It also looks at women’s solo travel experiences, and how they negotiate the 'geographies of fear' in the leisure landscape. By conducting a short survey and qualitative in-­?depth interviews, findings reveal that the 'travel danger' discourse for women stem from gendered ideologies and notions of femininity. It also demonstrates that the constraining experiences that women face before and during their solo travels are not only underpinned by gender, but are influenced by intersectional identities such as race. Women are also shown to be active agents capable of transforming the constraining 'landscapes of fear' into a 'heterotopia', an emancipatory space for resistance to constraining discourses. This paper addresses the literature gap on the Asian women’s leisure travel experience, and contributes to the increasing gender awareness in leisure and tourism studies.
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