Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dorothy C. Andreas

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Joe Cardot III

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Randall Fowler


The present study researched and investigated the travel narratives of 13 interabled families through qualitative research methods of thematic and contrapuntal analysis. Participants were parents who have at least one dependent with a disability in their family unit. Theories used to guide this study include narrative theory, family systems theory, and relational dialectics theory. Narrative theory laid the groundwork for understanding how stories function to communicate and construct identity. Family systems theory provided definitions and terms for how to understand dynamics within families. Relational dialectics theory guided the understanding for what tensions are at play for interabled families and how they negotiate their identity within those tensions. The primary purpose of this thesis was to understand and further the understandings of the experiences that families with disabilities face in the travel and tourism industry. Findings of this study revealed how interabled families negotiate their identities, participate in the cultural rituals of travel for enjoyment, and the barriers they face in travel. Horror stories are shared as a form of cautionary tale about barriers interabled families face which strengthens community bonds within the counterpublic. Protagonists are seen as individuals or entities which understand whereas antagonists do not understand. Understanding also informs the contributing factors to the vision of utopia. Locations that are not structurally accessible can still be enjoyed by families with disabilities as long as the social and cultural setting is accommodating.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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