Record number 2212247
Title Setting sail: an exploratory expedition towards understanding disability, holidays and happiness
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Paulina Schmitz
Author(s) Schmitz, Paulina
Publisher [Netherlands] : [publisher not identified]
Publication year 2017
Description 1 online resource (PDF, 72 pages) illustrations
Notes Student report, Wageningen University, Cultural Geography
Msc Thesis MSc Thesis Cultural Geography - Cultural Geography - Wageningen University
Online full text
Publication type Student report
Language English
About Disability is a part of human nature that has existed throughout history and across societies all over the world. It is a multidimensional phenomenon, as diverse and variable as any other characteristic that distinguishes one human being from another. Ideas of what disability is and how it should be dealt with have changed over time. In 2001, the World Health Organization developed the International Classification of Functioning and Health (ICF) a very practically oriented framework that attempts to provide a scientific basis for understanding and studying health and health-related states. The components included in this framework are categorized within the four main areas of body structures, body functions, activity and participation, and environmental factors. The theoretical concepts of disability are based on an assumption that disability is a problem and leads to exclusion, or restriction to live a fulfilled life. This perception forms the outset of the idea that disability and (un)happiness have become inextricably connected. Previous studies have shown that holidays offer opportunities for individuals to feel happier. A large-scale comparison of studies that investigate this relationship has resulted in a set of five psychological mechanisms that reoccur most frequently and can be linked to well-being, namely detachment-recovery, autonomy, mastery, meaning, and affiliation. The presented study combines the International Classification of Functioning and Health with theories on psychological well-being in a unique way and proposes an innovative method for analyzing how differences between a home and a holiday setting influence the perceived well-being of people with disabilities. As this way of framing the topics at hand has never been done before, the research project is of exploratory nature and employs a qualitative case study design that uses narrative interviews supported by photo elicitation and participant observation as data collection methods. The generated data offered an in-depth insight into the ways four individuals with disabilities experience their home setting and a week-long holiday. The results of this study suggest that the way people with disabilities experience a holiday strongly depends on the circumstances they are used to at home, as well as on the whole set-up of the holiday. Paying attention to the five psychological mechanisms and the ICF domains described in this study will lead to enhanced holiday experiences for people with disabilities.
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