Americans' vacations

Alma J Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the nature of Americans' vacations from the perspective of current trends in social and symbolic anthropology. Taking the viewpoint of the vacationers themselves, it suggests that there are two polar types of vacations that are recognized by Americans which are termed "Peasant for a Day" and "Queen (King) for a Day." Each of these types inverts an aspect of American society, but depending on the class of the vacationer involved, the inversion takes on one of two forms: either dissolution or accentuation of the social hierarchy. Examples and variations of these two basic types of vacation are presented; both domestic and overseas holidays are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-187
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982


  • American social structures and political ideology
  • La structure sociale et l'idéologie politique de l'Amérique
  • l'anthropologie symbolique
  • symbolic anthropology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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