Working-Class Men’s Masculinities on the Spanish Costas: Watching ITV’s Benidorm

  • Mark Casey
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


Popular images of working-class tourism on the Spanish costas (coasts), as presented in ITV1’s successful comedy Benidorm and in the wider media, have represented the typical British tourist through images of sunburnt white bodies. Such bodies are often visibly marked as heterosexual, working class and gender appropriate in behaviour, dress and style. This imagery is underpinned through hegemonic notions of the masculine or feminine working-class body at play. The recent work of Andrews (2005, 2011a/b) has been some of the first to theorise the mass working-class tourist and their gendered identities in mass tourist resorts in Spain. Imagery used in Benidorm and the experiences of Andrews (2010) during her research, reflect that tourism is an embodied leisure activity that is built and sustained through human relations, which are affected by both global and local gender relations. Such imagery reminds the viewer or tourist that there are expected ways of ‘doing gender’ on holiday, which are informed by notions of how one ‘does’ masculinity or femininity back home (also see chapters by Costa and by Gilli and Ruspini, this volume). Although tourism may offer some tourists a limi- noid state away from home, where daily realities can be forgotten (see Shaw and Williams, 2004), the centrality of gender to contemporary understandings of self and identity has the consequence that gender roles, expectations and performance are sustained by or even intensified within tourist sites and spaces.


Initial Inability Tourist Site Tourist Resort Package Holiday Tourism Geography 
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© Mark Casey 2015

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  • Mark Casey

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