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Change within the change: pregnancy, liminality and adventure tourism in Mexico

Díaz-Carrión, Isis Arlene; Vizcaino-Suárez, Paola; Gaggiotti, Hugo


Isis Arlene Díaz-Carrión

Paola Vizcaino-Suárez

Hugo Gaggiotti
Associate Professor in Human Resource Management


Despite the growing number of pregnant women engaging in outdoor adventure activities, very few studies have explored pregnancy or the specific needs and challenges of pregnant women in tourism research. To fill this gap in the literature, we examine the participation of pregnant women in adventure tourism through the theoretical lens of liminality. Conceptualising pregnancy as a liminal stage in which women are ‘suspended’ between two statuses, opens diverse possibilities to delve into women’s experiences of embodiment, bodily image and control. In this sense, pregnancy is understood as an ‘internal change’, which adds specific challenges to women’s practice of adventure tourism, including bodily changes and different perceptions of risk-taking. Similarly, the context of adventure tourism provides an ideal space to reflect on liminal transitions and the ‘outside changes’ that pregnant women go through in the predominantly masculinised spaces that characterise this tourism segment. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 Mexican women who actively pursue adventure tourism and who had engaged in these activities during at least one pregnancy. The analysis indicates the importance of norms and social expectations experienced by pregnant women when doing adventure tourism. The concept of the ‘rhizomatic body’ proved to be a valuable tool when looking at the social taboos, prohibitions and rules that apply to pregnant women in specific sociocultural contexts (in this case, Mexico). By reframing and reconceptualising pregnant women and their practice of adventure activities, the social construction of pregnancy is elucidated. Finally, the study contributes to the understanding of alternative models and experiences of being a woman in gendered spaces, while shedding light on relevant behavioural patterns among pregnant tourists and the sociocultural impacts of these patterns.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Tourism Geographies
Print ISSN 1461-6688
Electronic ISSN 1470-1340
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-22
APA6 Citation Díaz-Carrión, I. A., Vizcaino-Suárez, P., & Gaggiotti, H. (in press). Change within the change: pregnancy, liminality and adventure tourism in Mexico. Tourism Geographies, 1-22.
Keywords Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management; Geography, Planning and Development
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline....ope&journalCode=rtxg20; Received: 2018-09-27; Revised: 2019-12-05; Accepted: 2019-12-16; Published: 2020-02-06