Liverpool waterfront


Read the conference abstracts

Professor Nick Crossley (University of Manchester)

The Micro-Mobilisation of Punk, 1975-6

In this presentation I will discuss some of the findings of an on-going programme of research looking at the role of social networks in the organisation and mobilisation of 'music worlds'. Much of the focus of the talk will be taken from my recent book on the emergence of punk in London between 1975-76, its subsequent spread to other UK cities (I look at Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield) and its transformation in those cities into various forms of post-punk. However, I will also discuss a number of related projects which develop the ideas of that study further, using different examples.

Professor Alan Tomlinson (University of Brighton)

From Flawed Idealism to Racketeering; FIFA's betrayal of the Simple Game

In line with the Conference’s concern with blurring boundaries, and locating leisure in all its intriguing contexts and possibilities, I will review the history, sociology and politics of FIFA from an interdisciplinary, critical interpretivist and investigative perspective – if all of that can be absorbed into a coherent and identifiable perspective.

The formative and foundational principles of FIFA will be reviewed, rooted in document analysis of the ambitions and ideals of a range of international football administrators as well as FIFA’s leaders, demonstrating an emergent sport-diplomatic discourse in FIFA’s first expansionist phase up until the first men’s World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. The real task for us here is to identify how and when collusion becomes corruption, even in FIFA’s earliest decades; and, focusing upon the 1950s and 1960s, to ask how networks could be mobilized in ways that no ethics committee or process worth its name could tolerate. At the same time, a rationale that could have come out of the preachings of the rational recreationists was also given a global developmental dimension in FIFA’s support, not least from the long-term secretary of The FA turned FIFA president Sir Stanley Rous, for the football development of newly independent post-colonial nations, and for the youngest confederations, CONCACAF and OCEANIA.

The Havelange/Blatter FIFA Dynasty (HBFD) is reviewed, in the context of the status of FIFA in the Swiss polity and Civil Code, and the continuing story that has now become so widely known since the intervention of the US Department of Justice when it indicted the 14 FIFA-connected individuals in the dawn raid on the Baur au Lac Hotel on the banks of Lake Geneva in late May 2015. I will seek, finally, to show why research on this particular story – which I have been undertaking, now, for more than 30 years – has been a gift to the critical leisure researcher; and why a broad conception of our work in leisure studies enables us to cross boundaries that specialist disciplines and professional codes of ethics often reify.

Blurring Public/Private abstracts

Erika Andersson Cederholm (Lund University, Sweden)

With a little help from my friends: relational work in leisure-related enterprising

The paper analyses the indistinct boundaries between formal and informal economic exchanges, with a focus on friendship and work relations. To illustrate these intersections, we present a study of Swedish lifestyle entrepreneurs who run small-scale horse-related enterprises. The specific characteristics of this form of business—in which the horse farm owners/operators, customers, employees, and voluntary workers share a leisure interest in horses and participate in the everyday work on the farm—provide the foundation for an economic environment where personal favour exchanges and a gift economy are intertwined with a market economy. Drawing on Viviana Zelizer’s notion of ‘relational work,’ (2005, 2012, 2013) applied in a context where the gift economy is based on individual leisure interests and leisure-based friendship, the present analysis focuses on how relationships, transactions, and forms of repayments are constantly negotiated along a continuum between work-oriented friendship and friendly work relations. The empirical illustrations demonstrate the limitations of the notion of boundary work often employed in studies of relational work—which emphasizes boundary definition. In contrast, it seems that relational work may also involve practices that maintain indistinct boundaries between different types of relationships, thus sustaining tension between a formal and informal economy.


Zelizer, Viviana A. (2005). The purchase of intimacy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Zelizer, Viviana A. (2012). How I became a relational economic sociologist and what does that mean? Politics & Society, 40(2), 145-174.

Zelizer, Viviana A. (2013). Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Nienke van Boom (NHTV University Breda, The Netherlands)

Exploring the role of leisure amenities in residential choice and satisfaction

This paper stems from the increased attention by scholars (c.f. Florida, 2002; Glaeser, 2011) and urban practitioners for leisure amenities as tools to lure human (creative) capital to place in order to compete for talent. Although the topic has been discussed in many disciplines, a deep analysis of what these leisure amenities are, how they work, for whom and why, is lacking. The study draws attention to the role of leisure amenities as contexts for meaningful social practices, and thereby contexts for socio-spatial attachment to occur. Following the work of Arai and Pedlar (2003), Collins (2004) and others, I argue for a perspective on leisure practices as social and focal or ritual practices, providing opportunities for social bonds to be built, maintained and strengthened.

In this paper I focus on the role of leisure amenities in the residential choice and residential satisfaction for different stages of life. By use of a panel survey among Dutch citizens, the paper explores the relative importance of leisure amenities in the choice of place of residency for different life stages. Furthermore it explores the contribution of proximity to leisure amenities in comparison with ‘classic’ amenities in the satisfaction of the residential environment for these different life stages.

The objective of this paper is to get more insight in the value of leisure amenities, and their potential as contexts for building socio-spatial attachment, for the perceived quality of the residential environment for different social groups. It serves as a first exploration of a more in-depth understanding of the role of leisure in human capital attraction. It is expected that especially in dense networked cities such as those in The Netherlands, leisure amenities might not have much power to distinguish one city from another. The value of leisure spaces in relation to this battle for talent, might lie in the ability to foster social networks, resulting in a lower inclination to out-migration. The paper ends with the question what these understandings imply for policy and planning.


Arai, S. & A. Pedlar (2003). Moving beyond individualism in leisure theory: a critical analysis of concepts of community and social engagement. Leisure Studies, 22:3, 185-202

Collins, R. (2004). Interaction Ritual Chains. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Florida, R. (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class and how it’s transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. New York: Basic Books.

Glaeser E. (2011). Triumph of the City. New York: The penguin press.

Jordan Dawson (Loughborough University), Mary Nevill (Nottingham Trent University) and Heike Jöns (Loughborough University)

Blurred Lines: Barriers of Access to London’s Olympic Park

Parkscape is a term used to refer to the different variables around how humans experience areas devoted to public recreation (Bale, 1989). This presentation considers the parkscape of the UK’s largest newly developed space, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Originally, the host for major events of the London 2012 Olympic Games, this was intended to be the jewel in the crown of a regenerated East End. Reopened following extensive remodelling in 2014, the Olympic Park consists of 560 acres of mixed green spaces interspersed with commercial, educational, recreation and residential hubs. Drawing on a recent two-year longitudinal visitor survey and research experience in The Park, this paper explores barriers of entry to The Park. The multi-method research approach combines findings from the visitor survey on the sociodemographics and practices of park visitors with ethnographic explorations involving extensive ‘strolling’ through The Park as both a visitor and a researcher. Based on an actor-network based approach to mega-event legacy theory, the research findings are presented through different triadic conceptual lenses such as the lived experiences of humans as dynamic hybrids and those material and immaterial actants that facilitate or hinder experiencing spaces within The Park. Material boundaries comprise of financial costs and gates that physically prevent access to The Park and different venues within this space.

Immaterial practices include discourses and narratives that shape people’s perceptions on accessing The Park in both imagined and real ways. Finally, there are other humans such as security guards, who patrol and regulate access to and practices within The Park. This paper will focus on how the actual financial barriers and different forms of materially expressed securitisation co-exist with immaterial ideas, thoughts and perceptions to prevent access and thus inclusive practices. These ideas will be explored through three research snapshots to highlight the stark differences of park visitor’s profiles, experiences and perceptions. Firstly, the parkland space is explored by a typical visitor; secondly, it is seen through the eyes of local minority groups; and thirdly (and most tellingly given the LOCOG promise of ‘Inspiring a Generation’), it is explored from the perspective of a local youth visitor.


Bale, J. (1989). Sports Geography. London: Routledge 

Roos Gerritsma and Jacques Vork (Hogeschool Inholland, Amsterdam)

Residents of Amsterdam and their attitudes towards tourists and tourism

“I do get irritated once in a while, but I also like them on the other hand” - respondent

Amsterdam is attracting an increasing number of residents, businesses and visitors. The total number of overnight stays Amsterdam’s hotels rose to 12.5 million in 2014, whilst in 2000 there were still less than 8 million (Gemeente Amsterdam 2002). In 2015 the number of visitors increased again by 3.6% (Toeristische Barometer van Amsterdam Marketing 2015). However these striking statistics are not always seen as a positive development. Tension related to the perceived (over)crowdedness of Amsterdam, as a result of tourism at specific places and moments are also increasing. We observe this not only in the public debate but also in relation to new policy and action plans launched by the municipality in 2015. For a variety of stakeholders there is clearly a strong need for more in-depth knowledge on how a proper balance between the conflicting needs can be maintained, or even restored.

With this research, we focus on the perspective of the residents and elaborate on their attitudes towards tourists and tourism in both their own neighbourhood and the whole city of Amsterdam. Attitude has been operationalized as having three components: affect, behaviour and cognition (Solomon, 2013). Affect has been measured in positive feelings such as pride (Cooper, 2005 et al) and negative feelings such as irritation and obstruction, are based on Doxey’s Irridex (1975).

Research has been carried out following Mixed Methods (Tashakorri en Teddlie 2003) and combining desk research and fieldwork with 248 questionnaires and 8 semi-structured interviews.

Surprisingly we can conclude that most of the residents have positive feelings towards tourists. Distinctions in attitudes are mainly determined by the part of the city they live in and which feelings (affect) and thoughts (cognition) they have. The more positively residents feel and think about tourism, the less obstructive or avoiding behaviour they show.


Cooper et al (1998 2005) Tourism principles and practice 3rd edition (Chapter 7 & 8)

Doxey, G.V. (1975) A causation theory of visitor-resident irritants, methodology and research inferences. The Impact of Tourism (p. 195-198), Sixth Annual Conference Proceedings of the Travel Research Association, San Diego

Solomon, M. R. (2013) Consumer behavior: Buying, having and being (10th ed.). Engeland: Pearson.

Tashakorri, A., enTeddlie, Ch. (Eds.). (2003) Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Heather Gibson and Adrienne Kendall (University of Florida)

Fathering in the context of family holidays: the experiences of non-resident dads

In response to the invisibility of women in studies of leisure in the early days, feminist scholars are credited with raising our knowledge of women’s leisure in the family, a largely private space. Recently, with the growing diversity of family forms, there has been a call to focus on the leisure experiences of all family members, including fathers’ roles (Kay, 2006). As an extension of this call, scholars have begun to ask how leisure is experienced in “non-traditional” families, especially where a biological parent may not live with the family (Jenkins & Lyons, 2006). Thus the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of non-resident fathers who take holidays with their children. Ten non-resident fathers (30-60 years) were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Children of the participants ranged in age from pre-school to college. Data were transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory methods guided by the theory of Situated Fatherhood (Marsiglio et al, 2005). Four macro themes were identified: (1) Creating a New Normal, where fathers use the holidays to create some unity in the new family form following divorce or separation; (2) Making Travel Happen, describes the experiences both positive and negative that fathers faced in planning holidays for their children; (3) Travelling with Dad, describes the actual holiday experiences; and (4) Happy Memories, describes the father’s evaluations of these holidays. The findings provide us with some insights about non-resident fathering and the role of holidays in their lives and the lives of their children. Do holidays blur the private/public boundaries of family leisure?


Jenkins, J. and Lyons, K. (2006). Non-resident fathers’ leisure with their children, Leisure Studies, 25(2), 219-232.

Kay, T.  (2006). Where’s dad? Fatherhood in leisure studies. Leisure Studies, 25(2), 133-152.

Marsiglio, W., Roy, K., and Fox, G. (Eds.). (2005). Situated fathering a focus on physical and social space. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Paul Gilchrist (University of Brighton) and Guy Osborn (Westminster University)

Parkour and public space: understanding risk, benefits and social value

This paper examines the interrelationship between law and lifestyle sports, viewed through the lens of parkour. We argue that the literature relating to legal approaches to lifestyle sport is currently underdeveloped and seek to develop the literature to partially fill this lacuna. Hitherto, we argue, the law has been viewed as a largely negative presence, seen particularly in terms of the ways in which counter-cultural activities are policed and regulated, and where such activities are viewed as transgressive or undesirable. We argue that this is a somewhat unsophisticated take on how the law can operate, with law constructed as an outcome of constraints to behaviour (where the law authorises or prohibits), distinct from the legal contexts, environments and spaces in which these relationships occur. The distinctive settings in which lifestyle sports are practiced – in both public and private space - needs a more fine-grained analysis as they are settings which bear, and bring to life, laws and regulations that shape how space is to be experienced. We examine specifically the interrelationship between risk and benefit and how the law recognises issues of social utility or value, particularly within the context of sport and pastimes. We seek to move from user-centred constructions of law as an imposition, to a more nuanced position that looks at parkour at the intersections of law, space and culture, in order to reveal how law can be used to support counter-cultural claims to space.

Stephen Henderson (Leeds Beckett University)

Music Promoting, Social Media and Community

This paper builds on some of our earlier work (Henderson and Spracklen, 2015) which looked at folk musicians exercising agency in leisure based careers that can develop from being a communicative amateur to a more instrumental professional. In this work, again, we draw from the work of Habermas (1984, 1987) considering how music promoters with their instrumental needs interface with fans of music whose enjoyment is more communicative.

For our jumping off point, we use Cova and Cova (2002) who build on notions of tribal attachment rather than individual consumption to state that ‘the future of marketing is in offering and supporting a renewed sense of community’. Our work is inductive in that we have spoken to various music promoters to ask if their approach to music events uses such a sense of community, especially, in the post-modern online world. We have focussed on smaller, local promoters whose situation might suggest that their music promotions require the building of a music based community as they benefit less from the fan communities formed around the globalised entertainment of music’s superstars.

Our study notes the conflict between communicative and instrumental Habermasian rationalities and its influence on the involvement of the music promoter, the presence of differing stakeholder groups within the music based community and their different intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to engage in the community.


Cova, B. and Cova, V. (2002) Tribal Marketing – The tribalisation of Society and its impact on the conduct of marketing, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 36, No 5/6, pp 595-620.

Habermas, J. (1984). The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume One. Cambridge, Polity.

Habermas, J. (1987). The Theory of Communicative Action, Volume Two. Cambridge, Polity

Henderson, S. and Spracklen, K. (2015) ‘From serious leisure to serious work, or, when folk music struck a chord: careers, Habermasian rationality and agency. Leisure/Loisir, Volume 38, Issue 3-4, pp. 207-224.

Věra Patočková (Czech Academy of Sciences)

Leisure in Urban and Rural Settings in the Czech Republic

The presentation is focused on leisure participation in the Czech Republic. The territorial administrative structure of the Czech Republic is rather fragmented. Its population of 10.5 million inhabitants lives in more than 6253 independent municipalities. About 27 % of the population live in municipalities with no more than 2000 inhabitants. Some of these municipalities are further socially disadvantaged and are perceived as peripheral areas.

The presentation is based on the analysis of data from the quantitative survey Culture in Regions 2011 and focuses on leisure patterns of inhabitants of the Czech Republic in urban and village settings. The stress is placed on cultural activities based on amenities presented predominantly in an urban environment as well as on community activities. Conditions for leisure participation such as availability of selected amenities or perceived obstacles that discourage from participation are further discussed.

Martin Selby (Coventry University)

Leisure and Learning: towards a more holistic understanding of international students

The challenges facing international students in terms of adaptation (Russell et al. 2009), acculturation (Smith and Khawaja 2011), and developing intercultural competencies (Taylor 1994) are well documented. The international education literature has increasingly recognised that the well-being of international students is related not only to the academic needs of students, but also the wider experiences of international students in their everyday life (e.g., Rosenthal at al. 2008). There is also increasing evidence that the leisure time of international students, although rather neglected in the literature, is as salient to the subjective well-being of international students as the time spent engaged in study (Toyokawa and Toyokawa 2002; Li and Stodolska 2010 ). It is still relatively rare, however, for research into the subjective well-being of international students to take a subjective (or even inter-subjective) approach. This implies a holistic and inductive perspective, escaping from dichotomies such as public-private, study-leisure, host-migrant, and insider-outsider. This study aims to take such as holistic approach, drawing upon phenomenology in order to evaluate the holistic experiences of international students studying in the UK. This exploratory study uses focus groups conducted at two UK universities, with the aim of exploring the overall well-being and challenges of international students during their time spent in the UK. The qualitative findings suggest that a positive engagement with other students, local inhabitants, local cultures, and local communities greatly enhances the overall experience of studying in the UK. It would seem that this engagement mainly occurs outside of formal studies, and on a number of different levels of immersion. Findings suggest that the most satisfying experiences involve an embodied and interactive participation in local cultures through leisure activities. This type of engagement and immersion also transcends dichotomies such as public-private, insider-outsider, and study-leisure.


Li, M., Stodolska, M. (2010) ‘Working for a Dream and Living for a Future: leisure constraints and negotiation strategies among Chinese international graduate students’. Leisure, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 105-132.

Rosenthal, D., Russell, V.J., Thomson, G.D. (2008) The Health and Well-being of International Students at an Australian University. Higher Education, 55, pp.51-67.

Russell, J., Rosenthal, D., Thomson, G. (2009) ‘The International Student Experience: three styles of adaptation’. Higher Education, 60, pp. 235-249.

Smith, R.A., Khawaja, N.G. (2011) A Review of Acculturation Experiences of International Students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, pp. 699-713.

Taylor, E.W. (1994) Intercultural Competency: a transformative learning process. Adult Education Quarterly, 44, No. 3, Spring, pp.154-174.

Toyokawa, T., Toyokawa, N. (2002) Extracurricular Activities and the Adjustment of Asian International Students: a study of Japanese students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 26, Issue 4, Aug, pp. 363-379.

David Strafford (Sheffield Hallam University)

Shopping Centres and the growth of Retail Event Tourism

My research interest, and PhD, focusses on Retail Centres’ strategic use of events, which links to key literature in the areas of strategic marketing, destination marketing, experiential event design, event tourism and retail tourism. With the prevalence of online shopping, there is a significant challenge to Retail Centres, as they seek to remain relevant. In a digital world Retail Centres can no longer rely on shopping alone to attract consumers and they are now harnessing the various possibilities of events, to become destinations and visitor attractions in their own right. The constant drive to deliver spectacular and unique retail experiences (Getz 2007) to retain competitive advantage blurs the boundaries between the domains of event tourism and retail (Ennis 2016). Indeed it can be seen that Retail Centres use a range of events, from pop-up shops and experiential brand activations, to student lock-ins, Christmas grottos and even, arguably, January Sales. All events contribute to the strategic event portfolio, realising a variety of outcomes, ranging from animating existing visitor experiences, attracting new visitors, retail tourism and generating word of mouth and mouse.

The Retail Centres which are central to this study are detached from city centres, both geographically and metaphorically, and they are now destinations in their own right (Morgan et al 2011), where increased ‘dwell-time’ is king. Events of course, are not new ideas within the retail industry – shops have been operating ‘January sales’ for years. However the contemporary phenomenon is increasingly sophisticated with pop-up brand experiences (Lincoln 2009) and seasonal and festive attractions, serving to deliver outcomes and experiences fay beyond the simple discounting of stock. This positions the Centre as a hub of vibrancy (Richards and Palmer 2010) – and of course, somewhere where you can indeed ‘dwell’ all day should you wish.  Many consumers do so wish, and increasingly there is so much more to their visit to the Retail Centre than just purchasing and retail transactions. The very act of visiting a Retail Centre has become a leisure activity in its own right (Howard 2007) and through the consumption of brands, consumers can find meaning and value, through intensified multi-brand experiences (Pine and Gilmore 1998; Poulsson and Kale 2004; Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2004). 

Given the context outlined above, this presentation will examine the case of the Meadowhall Centre in Sheffield and their recent Gruffalo Experience activation, which I planned, delivered and evaluated, with colleagues. The presentation specifically addresses this research question: "How and why did the Gruffalo Experience contribute to the objectives of Meadowhall Shopping Centre?" Research findings will be presented along with a focussed literature review, analysis and implications for the author's future research.


ENNIS, Sean (2016) Retail Marketing. McGraw-Hill, Maidenhead

GETZ, Donald (2007). Event Studies: Theory, research and policy for planned events. Oxford, Elsevier Ltd.

HOWARD, Elizabeth (2007) New shopping centres: is leisure the answer? International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 35 Iss 8 pp. 661 - 672

LINCOLN, Keith, THOMASSEN, Lars & ACONIS, Anthony (2009) Retailization: Brand Survival in the Age of Retailer Power, Kogan

MORGAN, Nigel, PRITCHARD, Annette and PRIDE, Roger (2011). Destination Brands. Managing Place Reputation. 3rd ed., Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.

PINE II, B. Joseph and GILMORE, James H. (1998). Welcome to the Experience Economy. Harvard Business Review, 97-106.

POULSSON, Susanne H.G. and KALE, Sudhir H. (2004). The Experience Economy and Commercial Experiences. The Marketing Review, 4, 267-277.

PRAHALAD, C. K. and RAMASWAMY, Venkat (2004). Co-creation Experiences: The Next Practice in Value Creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 8, 3, 5-14.

RICHARDS, Greg and PALMER, Robert (2010). Eventful Cities. Cultutal Management and Urban Revitalisation. Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Damion Sturm and Roslyn Kerr (Leeds Beckett University)

Moving beyond ‘insider or outsider’: The ethnographic challenges of researching elite sport facilities in New Zealand

Recently, several researchers have highlighted the difficulty with the binary terms “insider-outsider” (see for example, Corbin, Dwyer and Buckle, 2009; Paetcher, 2012; Kerstetter, 2012) within qualitative research. In this presentation, we similarly critique the, at times, overly simplistic insider/outsider binary and argue for recognising the greater forms of fluidity, oscillation and blurred relationships at play for researchers’ researching within leisure spaces. Indeed, one of our key arguments is a greater recognition for the forms of reflexivity and strategy that are enacted and enabled by researchers to negotiate and navigate the diverse spaces, people and practices encountered during the research process. To furnish this approach, we turn to Bourdieu’s theoretical framework, particularly around notions of the field and capital in its varying forms, offering an alternative means for comparing and understanding the two researcher’s ethnographic accounts of researching sports facilities in New Zealand. One of the ethnographers, Damion, describes himself as closer to an outsider than an insider in the context of the velodrome he was examining, while the other researcher, Roslyn, describes herself as an insider in the field of gymnastics. However, both found their assumed ‘insider/outsider’ position was never static either.Rather, this positioning was always context-dependent and reliant upon how their own assumed forms of capital could be deployed, read or recognised, or how it could be reflexively negotiated to further contribute to their status, access and the shared meaning-making with various people within these spaces. Through comparing their ethnographic accounts, we illustrate how the language of insider/outsider can be limiting. Alternatively, our presentation will also highlight how both researchers deployed forms of capital and reflexive strategies to more fluidity straddle these varying positions during their daily encounters; particularly with the research itself taking place within a hierarchical binary of elite/community sports spaces.

Spencer Swain (Leeds Beckett University)

Khat Chewing and Dark Leisure

This paper draws on research currently being undertaken on khat chewing within the Somali community. Its aim is to address the moral debate surrounding the use of khat, a narcotic chewed by Somali males in their leisure time. The paper provides an overview of the arguments surrounding the morality of khat chewing, encompassing the views of detractors such as women’s groups, religious authorities, and the UK Government. Who argue that the practice has a negative effect on communities, is prohibited by the Quran and funds terrorist activities on the Horn of Africa (Harris, 2004; Travis, 2013). The views of those who chew khat is also put forward through articulating their arguments on khat’s role in providing community and a sense of belonging to a wider Somali identity, which in Western societies helps them alleviate feelings of being threatened or stigmatised (Hansen, 2010). The key argument is built around how we articulate dark leisure. By using the philosophical insight of Zygmunt Bauman (2000) and Emmanuel Levinas (1985), it will be argued, that in contemporary society, referred to as liquid modernity, ethical legislation in the form of religious and political doctrine becomes increasingly hard to enforce. This is due to the ephemeral nature of contemporary society, caused by globalization and the subsequent increasing flows of populations and cultures which have penetrated the supposedly homogenous and uniformed structures of the nation state. As a result, it will be argued that institutionalised forms of ethical legislation have been replaced by individual notions of morality, due to the increased levels individuality imposed upon people. Leading to a situation where khat chewing and other Dark Leisure activities should be understood through the mantra of how they affect the ‘Other’, making morality more ambiguous, as each situation has to be understood within a variety of different contexts.     

Kate Themen (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Kicking Against Tradition: Women’s Football, Negotiating Friendships

This paper examines friendships and social networks in the context of amateur women’s football. Studies of intimacies and friendships tend to situate women’s single-sex friendships around emotional support (Spencer and Pahl, 2006; Allan, 2008). The aim of this research seeks to account for more depth in understanding diversity in female friendships. The traditionally masculine (football) environment is peculiarly distinctive because it contrasts with traditional spaces found in private, domestic context that have traditionally associated with the formation and negotiation of ‘feminine’ friendship identities. Utilising 10 narrative interviews, the paper examines social and friendship networks emerged in two main areas. Firstly, although non-traditional social groupings were evident, it was apparent that some participants had to negotiate a dual private/public role. Secondly, there were friendships based on sociability and these were integral to the connectedness of groups not defined by conventionally gendered roles defined by emotional ties, but instead on collective interest focussed around playing sport. These groupings are of interest because they are contrary to conventionality that frame emotional femininity, and foreground social activities that accentuate cultural complexities rather than confine friendship groups in terms of either masculine or feminine cultural practices. Drawing on the grounded experiences of female football players, we found that female friendships are much more layered and complex than represented in broader cultural discourse.


Allan G. (2008) Flexibility, friendship, and family, Personal Relationships, 15: 1–16.

Spencer L. and Pahl R. (2006) Rethinking Friendship: Hidden Solidarities Today. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Blurring Offline/Online abstracts

Garry Crawford and David Hancock (Salford University)

Cosplay: Play in the Sunshine

This paper considers how cosplayers use, subvert and transform public spaces. Cosplayers’ costuming and performances typically take place at game and comic conventions, but cosplayers can also gather in private and public spaces away from conventions. This paper draws on ethnographic research involving interviews with approximately thirty cosplayers, plus detailed observations of cosplayer gatherings. Cosplay takes the ‘virtual’, often online, and carries this over to ‘offline’ physical spaces, employing low-fi means to express an appreciation of ‘geek’ culture and fantasy. Specifically here this paper focuses on the cosplayers’ use, subversion and transformation of a public park in the centre of Manchester. In doing so the paper draws on and adds to our understanding of cosplay, theories of play, spaces of resistance, and contemporary subcultures. In particular, parallels are drawn with Iain Borden’s (2001: 218) work on skateboarders, as, like skateboarders, cosplay is consider as “…an aesthetic rather than ethical practice, using the ‘formants’ at its disposal to create an alternative reality”. The paper argues that, for cosplayers, the physicality of the form is essential; however, they do not reject technology, on the contrary, this is adopted and made full use of by carrying its significance ‘offline’ into physical spaces. This is, that their immersion into the virtual is not enough, and they bring the object of their devotion into the physical world to engage with it more tangibly in ways that express creativity and the possibilities of subversion.


Borden, I. (2001) Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body, Berg, Oxford.

Garth Lean and Jenna Condie (Western Sydney University)

Travel in the Digital Age: The Curious Case of Tinder Tourism

Like all facets of social life, digital technologies have become deeply entwined in the performance of travel and tourism. Yet their investigation has largely been restricted to reflecting upon their use in place marketing/promotion (e.g. see Benckendorff et al., 2014) and facilitating visitor experiences (e.g. interpretation in museums, self-guided walking tours, etc.). As such there is a significant, and rapidly expanding, gap in knowledge surrounding how digital technologies are reshaping travel experiences, including social interactions and connections during travel and tourism.

The TinDA (Travel in a Digital Age) project was established in 2015 to specifically examine the ways in which digital technologies mediate travel experiences. This paper draws upon the preliminary findings of the first phase of a study investigating the commonplace use of geolocation meet-up/hook-up applications (or apps), such as Tinder and Grindr, among tourists and travellers. The project has employed two methods: an audit of participant accounts on Tinder within a fixed radius of the centre of Sydney, and an online, open questionnaire hosted via the project’s website ( The paper will explore how social geolocation apps demonstrate the blurred boundaries of various aspects of leisure, including between: social networking and dating, ‘traveller’ and ‘local’/‘host’, ‘here’ and ‘there’ (especially via features such as Tinder’s ‘Passport’ function that allow travellers to change their geolocation), and online/offline (as the online becomes increasingly embedded in the physical experiences of travel). Tinder has been a particularly important focus for this research as the app has actively targeted travellers and tourists through the development of its ‘Passport’ feature and marketing.


Benckendorff, PJ, Sheldon, PJ and Fesenmaier, DR 2014 ‘Social Media and Tourism’ in PJ Benckendorff, PJ Sheldon and DR Fesenmaier (eds.) Tourism Information Technology, Wallingsford, CABI, pp. 120–147.

Alex McDonagh (University of Salford)

Parklife blurred: how a collaborative research approach may unmask boundaries as rhizomatic networks

This paper discusses the author's current PhD research which uses collaborative (Waterton 2005) and reflexive (Bender et al 2007) research approaches to understand the effects of representing a park space in a digital format. The research has revealed a number of boundaries within digital and outdoor leisure contexts, the malleability of which support the notions of Bourdieu’s habitus (1977) and Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome (2002).

The paper will discuss how interviews with participants revealed differing opinions about the leisure roles of the park and of digital media. Firstly the paper will provide some context for the research project and outline the methodologies involved. The interview data will then be used to explore the blurred boundaries between the perceptions of leisure within the park. This will focus on interpretations of a bowling green and the contestation of its leisure use as either a sports area or as a heritage garden to the nearby stately home. The paper will go on to discuss the reactions of participants to a digital interpretation of the park and how this illuminates the role that digital media plays in people’s lives. This section will explore notions of how our relationship with digital technology is changing and how the boundaries between leisure and work are therefore changing in our homes and in society at large. Finally, this paper will discuss how the methodologies in this research project have facilitated the illumination of blurred boundaries between traditional and everyday values in digital and park leisure contexts.


Bender B., Hamilton S. and Tilley C. (2007) Stone Worlds: Narrative and Reflexivity in Landscape Archaeology, Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press

Bourdieu P. (1977) Outline of a Theory in Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (2002) A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia, London: Continuum

Waterton, E. (2005) 'Whose Sense of Place? Reconciling Archaeological Perspectives with Community Values: Cultural Landscapes in England', International Journal of Heritage Studies 11 (4)

Jennifer Merson and Nicola Palmer (University of Sheffield)

Taking and sharing photographs of restaurant food via social media and the blurring of online-offline consumer leisure experiences

This paper explores consumer motivations for the taking and sharing of photographs of restaurant food online. In particular, it examines consumer-generated images of food across social media sites as part of a wider trend towards the sharing of experiences (and photographs) online. Sharing behaviour has been linked to levels of online community participation, engagement and commitment (Nov and Ye, 2008) and the expression of creative ability in terms of photograph composition and skill (Cook et al, 2009; Xu and Bailey, 2010).

Offline, motivations for taking and sharing photographs with others have received academic research interest in a number of contexts (for example: mobile phone users - Chua et al, 2009; tourist photographs - Belk and Joyce, 2011; photographing natural disasters - Owen, 2013). Of particular interest to this study has been research into the social use of image-sharing as a means of creating and maintaining social relationships and self-presentation (Van House et al, 2005; Marcus, 2015; Sheldon and Bryant, 2016) in line with the idea of socially-constructed realities. 

The paper is based on the results of an online, semi-structured questionnaire survey completed by 67 international respondents of mixed genders and age groups (in line with standard research ethics procedures). Responses were analysed via descriptive statistics and a thematic review. The anonymised results provide initial insights into the extent to which photographs of restaurant food posted on social media were perceived to: reflect people's lifestyles; act as tools to maintain social relationships and facilitate the sharing of personal experiences; and contribute to the presentation of 'self' (Goffman, 1978). Overall, the findings draw attention to ways in which the taking and sharing of photographs of restaurant food online represent or distort offline leisure experiences. A number of questions are raised by the findings, not least whether participation in social media itself as a leisure activity supersedes, or at least impacts on, the 'lived experience' (Denzin, 1985) of other offline leisure activities (such as 'eating out'). In the words of one of the respondents in this study, 'the longer you spend time taking photos, the more likely the food will be cold'


Belk, R., and Hsiu-yen Yeh, J. (2011). Tourist photographs: signs of self. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 5(4), 345-353.

Chua, A. Y., Lee, C. S., Goh, D. H. L., and Ang, R. P. (2009, November). Motivations for media sharing among mobile phone users. In Digital Information Management, 2009. ICDIM 2009. Fourth International Conference on (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Cook, E., Teasley, S. D., and Ackerman, M. S. (2009, May). Contribution, commercialization & audience: understanding participation in an online creative community. In Proceedings of the ACM 2009 international conference on Supporting group work (pp. 41-50). ACM.

Denzin, N. K. (1985). Emotion as Lived Experience. Symbolic Interaction, 8(2), 223-240.

Goffman, E. (1978). The presentation of self in everyday life (p. 56). Harmondsworth.

Marcus, S.R. (2015)  Picturing ourselves into being: assessing identity, sociality and visuality on Instagram. Presented at the International Communication Association conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Nov, O., and Ye, C. (2008). Community photo sharing: Motivational and structural antecedents. ICIS 2008 Proceedings, 91.

Owen, D. M. (2013). Citizen Photojournalism: Motivations for Photographing a Natural Disaster and Sharing the Photos on the Web (Doctoral dissertation, University of Akron).

Sheldon, P., and Bryant, K. (2016). Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 89-97.

Van House, N., Davis, M., Ames, M., Finn, M., and Viswanathan, V. (2005, April). The uses of personal networked digital imaging: an empirical study of cameraphone photos and sharing. In CHI'05 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1853-1856). ACM.

Xu, A., and Bailey, B. (2012, February). What do you think?: a case study of benefit, expectation, and interaction in a large online critique community. In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 295-304). ACM.

Tony Rees (Teeside University)

War of the Worlds? - Transformative Technology and Social Change: a cycling subcultural case study

Research into the complexities of social practices within cycling subcultures has been neglected in sport sociology and despite the increasingly mediated nature of cycling participation, research on the emerging effects of new technologies is rare. Reflecting a growing acknowledgment within sociology of the role of new technologies in social change and in the way that we conceive and experience social space, this research examines through the application of the concepts of Pierre Bourdieu the emerging effects that social surveillance and gamification via online social networks are having on social practices within the subculture of racing cyclists. Increasing engagement with transformative technologies makes it difficult if not impossible for subcultural actors not to take part in a social system that increasingly operates on and through social media applications, emerging social spaces in which physical activities are now planned, shared and recapitulated. Social interaction is now extended beyond the physical, but when transferred and presented in an on line setting some subcultural characteristics and meanings are lost. A visible presence in the online environment coupled with the gaze of others results in changes in behaviour and modes of participation. Detachment from shared physical experience compromises systems of social recognition and in doing so raises issues related to the value and authenticity of social resources which challenge and could potentially transform the existing social order. It is clear from initial research that this social world is changing, new ‘rules of the game’ are emerging as the shared habitus of racing cyclists is challenged by participants with a habitus being transformed in a more mediated cycling setting. Using an ethnographic research approach, data have been gathered from empirical analysis of social network interactions. In addition to that, collected on line data has also been captured from participant observation and responses from email interviews.

Ilja Simons (NTHV University of Applied Sciences)

On-site and online rituals of event communities

Events have traditionally played a role in creating group solidarity and sense of togetherness (Getz, 2008; Finkel, 2010). Whereas originally, these event impacts were place-bound, nowadays in the network society (Castells, 2010), events have become nodes in complex social networks. This study focuses on the phenomenon in which people from different geographical backgrounds create a temporary space in which an informal community is built, which is then maintained online. These so-called hybrid communities (Sechi et al., 2012) change the social meaning of events. Instead of being isolated in time and space, events should be seen and studied as essential for building social capital in contemporary society (Richards and de Brito, 2013). Analysing these new communities will increase our understanding of how people adhere to the informal social practices that underpin new forms of social cohesion. However, the mechanisms which lead to community building as a result of such practices are poorly understood.

One way to understand community building through events is by regarding events as leisure practices in which rituals take place. Collins’ (2004) meso scale theory about Interaction Ritual Chains distinguishes ritual ingredients and ritual outcomes. Emotional energy obtained from a successful ritual stimulates participants to seek similar experiences, which can take the form of online and offline interaction. This paper focuses on the theoretical considerations of the (ongoing) study, illustrated by the outcomes of a case study: the Redhead Days in Breda, the Netherlands. The Redhead Days are the largest gathering of redheads in the world, attracting visitors from more than 80 countries. The event has resulted in a large online community. This qualitative study combines participant observation and semi structured interviews with Netnographic methods (Kozinets, 2010), leading to insights in the way offline and online rituals lead to the organic development of a new informal community.


Castells, M. (2010) The Rise of the Network Society. Second edition, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Collins, R. (2004) Interaction Ritual Chains. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Finkel, R. (2010) ‘“Dancing around the ring of fire”: social capital, tourism resistance, and gender dichotomies at Up Helly Aa in Lerwick, Shetland’, Event Management, Vol. 14, pp. 275–285.

Getz, D. (2008) ‘Event tourism: Definition, evolution, and research’, Tourism Management 29, pp.403–428.

Kozinets, R. V. (2010) Netnography. Doing ethnographic research online. Thousand

Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Available (accessed 4 February 2016).

Richards, G. and de Brito, M. (2013) ‘The future of events as a social phenomenon’. In Richards, G., de Brito, M.P. and Wilks, L. (eds.) Exploring the social impacts of events. London: Routledge, pp.219-235.

Sechi, G., Skilters, J., Borri, D. and De Lucia, C. (2012) Knowledge Exchange in hybrid communities: a social capital-based approach. Evidence from Latvia. Available at (accessed 4 February 2016)

Yunus Tuncel (Middle East Technical University (METU))

Interactions in idle time: Online-offline, public-private intersections in mobile interface use

As the internet and social media become more accessible for users of mobile interfaces, everyday experience takes a multi-faceted and mobile character. With the help of a wide range of mobile interfaces, which include ICTs as well as MP3 players and books, users juggle online and offline interactions, routinely traversing the public and private boundary.

Users’ mobility in everyday life should be understood diversely as it can represent both (online) virtual and (offline) corporeal travel (Urry, 2007; Lyons & Urry, 2005). Mobile interfaces eliminate the need to be physically co-present, and the presence and proximity can also be felt virtually (Line, Jain & Lyons, 2011). Secondly, mobile interfaces enable the instant transition between public and private interactions. Such transitions present a diverse cross relation of public, private, online and offline.

To study how users of mobile interfaces use their idle time in public in the intersection of online and offline, public and private, we conducted a two-stage fieldwork. In the first stage, we observed 30 young adults in three different public environments. In the second stage, we supported our observations with interviews and a cultural probe study.

The paper presents the findings of this fieldwork, focusing on the intersecting moments of online and offline, public and private interactions. We suggest that mobile interfaces expand the social possibilities by enabling users to easily switch between these interactions. We conclude the study by proposing a framework which can be used to systematically understand such interactions.


De Souza e Silva, A., and Frith, J. (2012). Mobile interfaces in public spaces: locational privacy, control, and urban sociability. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hatuka, T., and Toch, E. (2014). The emergence of portable private-personal territory: Smartphones, social conduct and public spaces. Urban Studies, 51(4), 1-17.

Höflich, J. R. (2006). The mobile phone and the dynamic between private and public communication: Results of an international exploratory study. Knowledge, Technology & Policy, 19(2), 58-68.

Line, T., Jain, J., and Lyons, G. (2011). The role of ICTs in everyday mobile lives. Journal of Transport Geography, 19(6), 1490-1499.

Lyons, G., and Urry, J. (2005). Travel time use in the information age. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 39(2), 257-276.

Urry, J. (2007). Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity.

Pushing the Boundaries abstracts

Tom Fletcher (Leeds Beckett University)

Sport, families and fathers

The concept of fathering and the role(s) of fathers are changing. With the shifting status of women, particularly in employment, increasing breakdown and reconstitution of families, traditional views of men as occupying instrumental roles of breadwinner and disciplinarian are evolving. However, as the very essence of fathering is being challenged, there is a growing social expectation that fathers should (want to) be more actively engaged with their children when compared to previous generations. Men are now expected to be ‘involved’ and ‘domesticated’ fathers. These new expectations towards fathering have, for some at least, signalled a contemporary redefinition of masculinity. Many men turn to sport to socialise with their children as sport provides a setting where they feel comfortable and competent as both parent and man (Kay, 2009). This presentation examines the tensions (and ambivalences) men encounter as they endeavour to meet these new expectations of fatherhood, fulfil their own expectations of what it means to be a ‘good father’, and the potential role that sport plays in this.

Mary Beth Gouthro (Bournemouth University)

The Ethnographic Domain: what methodological gains can event studies take from the experience of leisure?

Ethnography is a research practice and approach that is contested in terms of both its meaning and practice. Its methodological form has long established roots in the discipline of anthropology, not least of which from classic ethnographic studies conducted in the field e.g. Malinowski’s 1922 study of the Trobrianders in Papua New Guinea and Radcliffe-Brown’s of the Andaman Islanders in the same year.

As a form of qualitative enquiry historically, ethnographies have moved beyond the multi-year ethnographic practice of living ‘among the natives’ where a people, its culture and traditions are studied in depth. Since the classic studies, this type of research approach has evolved, and is found to have a more commonplace foothold in academic discussions in broader social science settings. In a sense, ethnographic studies has been through methodological transformations, as detailed by Hannerz’s (2003) ‘multi-site ethnographies’ by way of micro-ethnographies (Wolcott 1999) that engage in concentrated and focused study in condensed periods of time. Therefore, more ‘modern’ settings have become the backdrop for this research approach e.g. studies of public administration in legal and health contexts, in addition to social and cultural contexts of modern day life, i.e. in the 21st century. 

This paper sets out to understand the prominence and dominance of ethnographic approaches as they have been applied in leisure and events study contexts. As a service sector ‘discipline’, it can arguably be said that the field of event studies has a shorter academic ‘history’ then that of leisure. Therefore, what is there that the field of events studies can learn, from leisure’s experience that has gone before? What ‘success’ has leisure had in, for example, influencing policy? Implications for the wider body of knowledge, and how this can help inform/influence future forms and focus of research, including policy perspectives is also explored.


Hannerz, U. (2003) Being there…and there…and there!  Reflections on a multi-site ethnography.  Ethnography. 4 (2): 201-216.

Malinowski, B. (1922) Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Routledge & Kegan Paul:London.

Radcliffe-Brown, A.R.  (1922) The Andaman Islanders.  Cambridge University  Press: Cambridge.

Wolcott, H. (1999) Ethnography: A way of seeing.  Altamira Press: London.

Dr Anna de Jong and Dr Pete Varley (University of the Highlands and Islands)

Contested Scottish foodscapes: classed based moral judgements and desires for the strange

Dredge and Jamal (2015: 285) recently pointed to an ‘urgent need to progress tourism planning and policy towards greater visibility, legitimacy and importance in tourism studies through more critical engagement with tourism public policy and planning practice’. This paper attempts to respond to this gap through drawing on a post-structuralist approach to examine Scotland’s food tourism policy context. Many in the tourism industry are responding to the increasing demands for food motivated travel; this is particularly evident in Scotland, where 2015 marked the ‘Year of Food and Drink’. The Year of Food and Drink was a Scottish Government initiative, led in partnership with EventScotland, VisitScotland and Scotland Food & Drink, and was designed as an opportunity to ‘to enhance the food and drink experience for the visitor’ and to ’spotlight, celebrate and promote Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce to our people and our visitors’ (VisitScotland 2015). In recognising food tourism policy knowledge as embedded within particular social landscapes, which influence the construction of policy objectives, we seek to critically examine the normative economic values and classed assumption that underpin The Scottish Government’s framing of food tourism. In doing so, we grant specific attention to the social effects of these values and assumptions. Findings from media and policy analysis and participant observation at a number of Destination Marketing events are drawn on to examine the ways moral, social, spatial and economic judgements are used in attempts to construct place, food and tourism in particular ways. This paper hopes to draw attention to the ways classed, health and tourism discourses intersect to exclude and devalue certain foods and bodies and complicate notions of Scottish food, which work against particular tourist desires for the strange.


Dredge, D. & Jamal, T. (2015) ‘Progress in tourism planning and policy: a post-structural perspective on knowledge production’, Tourism Management, 51, 285-297.

VisitScotland (2015) About Year of Food and Drink. Accessed 28/12/2015 from

Dewi Jaimangal-Jones (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

Applying Goffman’s Dramaturgical perspective to the analysis of leisure experiences

This paper explores how Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, also referred to as the performance metaphor, can be used in the exploration and analysis of leisure experiences both from a research and design perspective through drawing on examples from events. Goffman’s theory considers how the world is comprised of a series of stages, constructed and governed by directors, inhabited by performers and viewed by audiences. This paper considers the value and application of this theory to the analysis of leisure experiences, which are carefully choreographed by directors and co-created by performers. It considers its value as a conceptual framework for the exploration and analysis of leisure experiences, especially when combined with theories of symbolic interactionism and identity performance. The proposition that all leisure spaces can be viewed as stages, socially constructed through their surrounding discourses and reinforced by the presence of signs, symbols and props to generate spaces for the performance of specific roles and the engagement in specific, sometimes ritualistic behaviours will be demonstrated through this paper. It will carefully consider the role of different directors within leisure experiences and the extent of their influence in terms of the narratives and discourses which surround leisure spaces and the legitimate performances which can take place on certain stages. Finally it will consider the dimension of actors and audiences within co-created spaces inhabited by a range of actors, performing to different scripts and audiences. It also explores the notion of audiences and the complexity of this position given that within many leisure experiences individuals are simultaneously actors and audience members, performing specific identities and roles, whilst spectating and consuming the spectacle.  

David Jarman (Edinburgh Napier University)

My network, without boundaries? Social network analysis and the individual

Socially defined networks often have clear boundaries, and social network analysis (SNA) allows us to identify, describe and interrogate the relationships between the members of these ‘whole networks’ (Scott 2013; Jarman et al 2014). Prior research has argued that SNA can help us to better understand how employees of a festival organisation relate to each other, build their careers, and otherwise operate within a bounded network (Jarman 2016). This paper, however, breaks free from such boundaries and asks SNA tools to help reveal the lived experience of a networked life that lacks clear definition. Using ‘ego network’ methods, characteristics of an individual’s network can be revealed: its size, density, homogeneity and dynamism (Prell 2012; Borgatti et al 2013). Analysis into ego networks raises the potential to consider an individual’s role as a broker, and thus to take advantage of their relationships with those around them.

Over the course of the paper key SNA terms will be introduced and ego network methods discussed, from data collection to analysis and presentation. Primary data will be presented, gathered from key individuals within the creative communities of Edinburgh and Leith. As such this will build on existing work carried out for the ‘Leith Creative’ project (Cunningham & Bremner 2015). This and other recent industry publications from Edinburgh based organisations have highlighted the vital role networks play in the professional and social lives of those working in the creative industries (BOP Consulting & Festivals and Events International 2015; Desire Lines 2015). It is hoped that research carried out for this paper can provide important evidence to support and develop this important work.


BOP Consulting & Festivals and Events International, 2015, Edinburgh Festivals: Thundering Hooves 2.0. A Ten Year Strategy to Sustain the Success of Edinburgh's Festivals, Edinburgh Festivals Forum, Edinburgh.

Borgatti, S.P., Everett, M.G. & Johnson, J.C., 2013, Analyzing social networks, SAGE Publications, London.

Cunningham, M. & Bremner, D., 2015, Leith Creative: understanding Leith's cultural resources and creative industries, Leith Creative, Leith.

Desire Lines, 2015, Desire Lines: a call to action from Edinburgh's cultural community, Desire Lines, Edinburgh.

Jarman, D. 2016, The strength of festival ties: social network analysis and the 2014 Edinburgh International Science Festival [publication pending], in L Platt & I Lamond (eds), Critical Event Studies, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. (unknown).

Jarman, D., Theodoraki, E., Hall, H. & Ali-Knight, J., 2014, Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods, International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 5(3), pp. 311-22.

Prell, C., 2012, Social network analysis: history, theory & methodology, SAGE, London.

Scott, J., 2013, Social network analysis, 3rd ed. SAGE Publications, London.

David Lamb (Edith Cowan University, Perth)

Food, glorious FOOD: The family meal-time - a thriving obsession or now a tradition of the past?

Families play a critical role, including nurturing, rearing, socialization and protection of their children (Kay, 2003). Moreover, the family unit plays an essential role in maintaining and improving wellbeing as well as providing emotional and material support (Shaw, 2008). This study addresses a gap in the family leisure literature as very few researchers have focused on the importance of family mealtimes as an important part of family leisure and life, with the exception of a few researchers (Cason, 2006; Neulinger & Simon, 2011). Furthermore, only a limited number of reviews of family leisure and life have a detailed discussion of food consumption across the household stages, except for a research based study undertaken by Pol and Pak (1995) who analysed the eating patterns and healthy eating during various stages of the life cycle. Likewise, this study adopts a similar approach in using a conceptual framework proposed by Pol and Pak (1995). The key aim of this study was to explore how changes in the family dynamic influence attitudes and practices towards food buying, consumption and behaviour in families. The study investigated a number of facets of family leisure behaviour with regards to food, including: when families eat; what types of foods families eat; food consumption in relation to stage in the family life-cycle; the relationship between family structure and food consumption; food as a social element in bringing families together and the prevalence of special food nights for families, such as ‘Fish and chip Friday’. Qualitative methodology was used in the form of three focus group studies involving different family members, from which a number of interesting themes arouse, including ideas about: the role of food; food values; food rituals; food habits and how these factors play a pivotal role in family leisure time together and family life.


Cason, K. L. (2006). Family mealtimes: More than just eating together. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106, 532–533.

Crouter, A. C., Head, M. R., McHale, S. M., & Tucker, C. J. (2004). Family time and the psychosocial adjustment of adolescent siblings and their parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 147–162.

Kay, T. (2003). Leisure, gender and self in the analysis of family. World Leisure Journal, 45(4), 4-14.

Neulinger, A., & Simon, J. (2011). Food consumption patterns and eating across the household life-cycle in Hungary.  International Journal of Consumer Studies, 35(5), pp. 538-544.

Pol, L.G. & Pak, S. (1995) Consumer unit types and expenditures on food away from home. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 29, 403–428.

Shaw, S. M. (2008). Teaching and learning guide for family leisure and changing ideologies of parenthood. Sociology Compass, 2(4), 1372-1377.

Brett Lashua, Beccy Watson, Pip Trevorrow (Leeds Beckett University)

Leeds: City of Dance? Mapping the centres and edges of dance participation

Dance offers a dynamic context for the exploration of leisure identities, spaces and issues (Watson, Tucker and Drury, 2013). Recently, a campaign was launched to brand Leeds a “City of Dance” as “the UK's no. 1 city for dance outside London” ( This paper reports on research that mapped the conceptualisation of dance in Leeds as an elite artistic practice and questioned the restriction of dance in sport, physical activity and public health discourses. Our research focussed on DAZL’s (Dance Action Zone Leeds) community dance model that aims “to improve health and wellbeing for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people aged 3-25 years in Leeds( This paper highlights DAZL’s community model via cultural geographical and qualitative mapping analyses. The research employed three distinct steps. First, we created an ArcGIS Online map to plot the range and breadth of dance provision (both commercial and community) at a broader, macro-level in Leeds vis-à-vis government statistical data for indices of multiple deprivation. Second, at a more local level, we conducted focus group interviews with a 16 teenage girls engaged with DAZL. Here, we employed qualitative mapping techniques and walking-tour interviews to explore local, ‘micro’ views of DAZL participation. A third phase employed ‘wearable technology’ (e.g., FitBits) to measure girls’ daily activity levels (e.g., step count, intensity) during 12-weeks of participation. Although not this paper’s focus, FitBit data supports the wider conceptualisation of physical activity (e.g., walking significant distances through sprawling overspill estates to reach dance facilities) in DAZL participants’ lives. Our analyses highlight the inequitable, two-tiered terrain of dance in Leeds, with commercial dance primarily located in central and more affluent areas, and community dance (DAZL) located in peripheral, disadvantaged areas. The juxtaposition offers a compelling illustration of the difference between where dance provision is offered and what kind of provision (commercial or community) is in place. The girls’ “neighbourhood narratives” underscore the significance of community dance organisations in their everyday lives. In sum, our research challenges Leeds’ claim to be a “city of dance” where it fractures along lines of centre and periphery.


Watson, R., Tucker, L. and Drury, S. (2013) Can we make a difference? Examining the transformative potential of sport and active recreation. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 16 (10), pp. 1233-1247.

Lesley Lawrence (University of Bedfordshire)

Reappraising obligation and freedom within leisure: Nobody compelled me to make the journey or write about it, did they?

The paper initially recalls and updates my LSA July 2015 contribution entitled: ‘Creating leisure:  Making that journey to Mt. Kilimanjaro for him…’.  An example of project-based leisure (Stebbins, 2013; 2014), doing so was perceived as contributing to well-being following a negative life event, the unanticipated death of Colin, my partner. An autobiographical account prior to the journey was ‘an incomplete and unfinished tale’; such narratives can be regarded as a form of research (e.g. Long, 2013).

Colin’s unfulfilled ambition was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and as this paper reveals, whilst the commitment at his funeral service to make that journey for him was freely-made, I felt obligated and unable to articulate why; the journey seemed to resonate with project-based leisure thatsprings from a sense of obligation to undertake it…the project creator in executing the project anticipates finding fulfilment, obligated or not” (Stebbins, 2013, pp.29-30). Leisure coping literature, gives an example of how turning to leisure activities can be “protective, restorative, and even personally transformative at times” (Kleiber et al., 2002 quoted in Nimrod et al., 2012, p.421).  

In the second half of the paper I recall my sense of wonderment at the vastness of the mountain itself, the almost spiritual and mystical atmosphere, and satisfaction of standing on the Roof of Africa ‘having got Colin there’. Stebbins (2014) believes that “People are obligated when, even though not coerced, they do or refrain from doing something because they feel bound in this regard by promise, convention or circumstances” (pp.33-34). Initial release at the release of a self-imposed obligation/promise was followed a myriad of positive emotions.

The paper concludes following my transformed views of obligation and freedom in leisure (post Mt. Kilimanjaro) being located within Blackshaw’s notion of liquid leisure. He views “liquid modern life as a search for individual meaning, a pilgrimage to the self, a search for a spiritual homeland to which we feel we can belong” (Blackshaw, 2013, p. 171). 


Blackshaw, T. (2013) ‘Two sociologists’ in T. Blackshaw (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies. Routledge: London/New York, pp. 164-178.

Long, J. (2013) ‘Research positions, postures and practices in Leisure Studies’ in T. Blackshaw (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies. Routledge: London/New York, pp. 82-96.

Nimrod, G., Kleiber, D.A., & Berdychevsky, L. (2012) ‘Leisure in coping with depression’. Journal of Leisure Research, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 419-449.

Stebbins, R. A. (2013) Planning your Time in Retirement – How to Cultivate a Leisure Lifestyle to Suit Your Needs and Interests. Rowman & Littlefield: Lanham.

Stebbins, R. A. (2014) ‘Leisure, happiness and positive lifestyle’ in S. Elkington and S. Gammon (eds.) Contemporary Perspectives in Leisure – Meanings, motives and lifelong learning. Routledge: London/New York, pp. 28-38.

Yong Jay Lee (Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies (aSSIST))

Leisure education governance: Filling a policy vacuum

The minimisation of a state’s activities does not simply signify an overall reduction in them, but rather a diminution in the particular activities of the welfare domain (Henry, 1999). The state’s withdrawal from its public responsibility in the domain might be taken for granted, especially when there is a more pressing concern. However, policy makers are not supposed to toy with this dichotomous choice. Leisure education can be one of the most typical cases which has been neglected in (national) policy but should not be overlooked. This paper proposes leisure education governance as a theoretic and practical alternative at the policy level, further trying to fill a policy vacuum in leisure education. Leisure education governance in this paper, mainly dealt with in the interactive, interdependent process between various stakeholders from public and private sectors (see Bevir, 2011; Roberts, 2016), is viewed as an action plan aimed at helping citizens develop an optimal positive lifestyle (OPL) (Stebbins, 2012). My plan is to delve into the critical issues on leisure education governance, to establish its foundation, and to provide insight for both scholarly and practitioner audiences.


Bevir, M. (Ed.) (2011). The SAGE handbook of governance. London, SAGE Publications.

Henry, I.P. (1999). Globalisation and the governance of leisure: The roles of the nation-state, the European Union and the city in leisure policy in Britain. Loisir et société [Society and Leisure], 22(2), 255-379.

Roberts, K. (2016). The business of leisure: Tourism, sport, events and other leisure industries. London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Stebbins, R.A. (2012). The idea of leisure: First principle. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Suyu Liu (Bournemouth University)

Participation in Tourism and Related Leisure Activities by People Living with Dementia: Evidence from Literature Review and Diary Research

There is a consensus that participating in tourism and related leisure activities can bring positive impact to people living with dementia. However, there is little research about how people living with dementia participate in tourism and related leisure activities, and what the main barriers are which prevent their participation.

The aim of this exploratory study is to develop a better understanding of how people living with dementia participate in tourism and related leisure activities. This research aims to collect evidence from a literature review and original diary research to answer two main questions. The first one is: what is the status quo and barriers to people with dementia participating into tourism and related leisure activities? The second question is: what are the difficulties of the development of dementia-friendly tourism, and how are we to solve or reduce such difficulties, from the perspectives of people living with dementia and tourism service providers? 

Initial evidence from the literature review and diary research demonstrates that in ageing societies such as UK and Europe, people with dementia have encountered a range of difficulties to participating in tourism and related leisure activities, which mainly include lack of institutional support (e.g., dementia is not often considered as a disability), mobility problems (e.g., lack of dementia-friendly facilities in tourism sites), and social pressure (e.g., others may treat people with dementia in unfriendly ways). For tourism service providers, providing dementia-friendly services/facilities, or labelling them as dementia-friendly service providers, may also bring negative feelings to other customers, and therefore lead to a negative impact on tourism business. This study will enrich the knowledge of tourism development in the ageing era, particularly tourism participation by people with limited mobility. It will also generate more academic insights and practical implications in relevant areas.

David Legg (Mount Royal University), Gayle McPherson (University of West Scotland), Laura Misener (Western University Ontario), David McGillivray  (University of West Scotland)

“It’s just so easy”: Mediating Gendered Narratives of Disability in Events

In this paper, we examine the prevailing narratives of disability produced and circulated around a major disability sport event. The case study is a non-integrated event with a singular organizing committee (OC) where athletes with a disability compete at a different time and space (e.g. the Olympic/Paralympic Model). In line with our previous research on disability events (Misener at al., 2015) our intent is to examine how the OC represented athletes with a disability in the context of the event, and compare this to the media representations of these athletes. This case, we draw upon data from a longitudinal study of integrated and non-integrated events for athletes with a disability. Using a critical disability lens, we examined the media and marketing strategies employed by the Toronto 2015 Pan/ParaPan American Games OC, and employed a critical discourse analysis of local print media texts spanning a timeframe of two years prior to the Games.  We also draw upon interviews undertaken with members of the OC (n=15) to further highlight the narratives developed to inform media representations. Results suggest that the event itself is reproducing the disempowering narrative of the ‘supercrip’ (Berger, 2008), and local print media outlets perpetuate this discourse through gendered and disabling narratives of sporting heroism. Print media struggles with the challenge of disseminating messages about a social model of disability while in practice it struggles to overcome institutionalised gendered ideologies. Our findings highlight that the major sporting event used as a case study, and in particular as a media spectacle, have much to improve upon in presenting athletes with a disability. A change in how major games frame disability sport may present an opportunity for sporting federations, funders and other institutional actors to address the continuing, systemic obstacles para-athletes face.


Berger, R. J. (2008). Disability and the Dedicated Wheelchair Athlete: Beyond the ‘Supercrip’ Critique. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 27 (6): 647-678.

Misener, L., McGillivray, D., McPherson, G., & Legg, D. (2015). Leveraging Parasport Events for Sustainable Community Participation: The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Annals of Leisure Research, 18, 450-469. DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2015.1045913

Geoff Nichols (University of Sheffield) and Angela Benson (University of Brighton)

Corruption (or misadventure?) and regulatory capitalism: researching volunteers at the London 2012 Games

The governance of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was conducted in a mode of regulatory capitalism: the delivery of the Games was contracted to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), a private company who cascaded sub-contracts to other private companies (Nichols and Ralston, 2015). This paper explores the tension between consequences of this conduct of the events and the need for public accountability in researching the Games. A case study approach of research into volunteers at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games triangulates journal papers, email correspondence, a PhD thesis, descriptions of the work of the private company who had sole responsibility for Games research, and the experience of one of the authors in researching mega-event volunteers. The production and dissemination of information was controlled by LOCOG and the sub-contractor responsible for all research associated with the Games. As a consequence, while some information which was critical of LOCOG’s claimed achievements was not readily available to the public, other information was passed to third parties for their own use.

For researchers operating within regulatory capitalism, control can be lost over research which is intended to inform evaluation of the achievement of public objectives. The commercial interests of sub-contracted research companies may determine how this information is used. The sub-contracting of research responsibilities to the private sector means academics may have to pay for access to high profile events and be more cautious about the protection of intellectual property.


Nichols, G., & Ralston, R. (2015). The legacy costs of delivering the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through regulatory capitalism. Leisure Studies 34, 389–404.

Geoff Nichols (University of Sheffield) and Eddy Hogg (University of Kent)

Understanding motivations of volunteers in sport

This paper combines research into the motivations of sports volunteers with theory understanding volunteering. Drawing on the Pathways to Participation research (Brodie et al. 2011), volunteering in sport is understood as a consequence of changing combinations of values, circumstances and experience. This is combined with the parallel development of sporting and volunteering social capital (Rowe, 2012). As a consequence volunteering is best understood as a process through which volunteers move, not necessarily in a linear or a constant way, over the course of their lives. An implication is that developing volunteering, which is a requirement of Sport England’s present strategy, has to facilitate pathways which engender positive attitudes to volunteering and present opportunities which match individuals’ changing circumstances. In particular, organisations must be prepared to accommodate ‘episodic’ volunteering as a consequence of the fragmentation of leisure time (Such, 2013). The paper is based on a review of motivations of sport volunteers, completed for Sport England in 2015/16.


Brodie, E., Hughes, T., Jochum, V., Miller, S., Ockenden, N. & Warburton, D. (2011). Pathways through Participation: What creates and sustains active citizenship? NCVO / IVR / Involve. 3/2011/09/Pathways-Through-Participation-final-report_Final_20110913.pdf.

Rowe, N. (2012). Sporting Capital — A new theory of sport participation determinants and its application to ‘Doorstep Sport’. A report commissioned by StreetGames.

Such, L. (2013). Little leisure in the Big Society. Leisure Studies, 32, 1, 89–108.

Mary G. Parr (Kent State University, Kent, OH)

Leisure Studies and Best Practices in Parks and Recreation: A Trickle Down Effect?

Discourse among scholars about the state of Leisure Studies has been ongoing throughout its relatively short history. (Elkington, 2013, Henderson, 2010; Burton & Jackson, 1990; Spracklen, 2014). Leisure Studies has been characterized as “in crisis,” “at a crossroads,” “falling sky,” and even “much ado about nothing.” Henderson described Leisure Studies as “a three generational family” with grandparents brought up within disciplines such as sociology or geography. The parents in Henderson’s analogy were brought up “with both feet in leisure” while also studying parks and recreation programming and administration. As for the children, or 3rd generation, there is a focus on specialty areas of tourism, sports, therapeutic recreation, etc. Parr (2014) reported a wave of academic departments adding “leisure” to their names beginning in the mid-1970s and peaking in the late 1980s. The 1990s saw a reversal of this trend with more and more programs dropping “leisure” from their names. While academic departments in the U.S. appear to be distancing themselves from the word “leisure” largely due to a lack of resonance with the public, there is evidence that the word has permeated the identity of professional parks and recreation practice. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) was established in 1993. The CAPRA standards established benchmarks for the delivery of high quality services (CAPRA, 2009). The standards are revised every five years to reflect changes in best practices over time. For this investigation, the 2009 and 2014 standards were reviewed in order to identify uses of the word “leisure” and any changes from 2009 to 2014. “Leisure” appears in both the 2009 and 2014 standards, primarily related to program services. However, a specific standard related to leisure education was added in 2014; i.e., best practices include educating the public about the benefits of leisure, defined as leisure time, activity, or experience. The standards review process warrants further investigation to explore rationales for the incorporation of leisure education into the standards.


Burton, T.L., & Jackson, E.L. (1990). On the road to where we’re going: Leisure studies in the future. Loisir et Societe/ Society and Leisure, 13, 207-227.

Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies. (2009). CAPRA National Accreditation Standards, 4th ed.. Retrieved from, January 15, 2016.

Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies. (2014). CAPRA National Accreditation Standards, 4th ed.. Retrieved from, January 15, 2016.

Elkington, S. (2013). Ways of seeing degrees of leisure: From practice to pedagogy. Leisure Studies, 32, 447-461, DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2012.684151.

Henderson, K. A. (2010). Leisure studies in the 21st century: The sky is falling? Leisure Sciences, 32, 391-400.

Parr, M.G. (2014). From recreation to leisure – and back again: A reflection of identity. Book of Abstracts, Andre Thibault, Ed., World Leisure Congress, Mobile, AL.

Spracklen, K. (2014). Leisure studies education: Historical trends and pedagogical futures in the United Kingdom and beyond. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 15, 20-23.

John Plemmenos

Leisure Hour Amusements: literary manifestations of recreational activities in the Bourgeois society of the 18th century Balkans

This paper deals with the earliest extensive treatment of leisure time in the Balkan literature of the eighteenth century through an anonymous collection of romances published in Vienna (1792). The Effects of Love (Erotos Apotelesmata) is considered the first modern-Greek fiction, and contains three stories set in Istanbul (where a sizeable Greek community was then thriving) and Poltava, modern-day Ukraine (where an Ottoman-Greek prince had escaped from the Turks). The stories are inundated with over-a-hundred popular songs that they are either composed or performed by the hero/ines in their free time. Due to the latter fact, the collection has been dismissed by modern critics as a work by and for idles, and a compilation of songs in a literary garment, though not a work of fantasy, since a number of places, events, and images are real. However, a closer examination (by the aid of historical sources) reveals that the work is indeed a literary adaptation of the leisure activities of the Greek bourgeoisie, and as such it acquires an additional significance. The loci of these activities are three: the public garden (with a kiosque where the heroes retract to compose or meditate), the banquet (where the heroes meet and perform their songs), and the chamber room (where the heroes write their billet-doux). Although the loci suggest a public-private distinction of leisure activities, their borders are not clear-cut and often collide: while in the garden, the hero may read a book or compose a song, while in his bedroom, he may communicate with her beloved intuitively or in his dreams. It should be stressed that a significant part of leisure activities is taken up by the heroines (often on an equal basis and a similar fashion with the heroes), thus working as a proto-feminist statement. This author has also suggested that the collection may work contrapuntally to a similar work, a Greek translation of Restif de la Bretonne’s French stories from his Les contemporaines, published in Vienna two years earlier (1790), where the heroes are “workaholics” with no free time (due to their humble origin), and sing rarely. Therefore, the Effects of Love may be dubbed an early “manifesto” of the leisure issue (at least in the context of the Greek and Balkan world). The author will finally try to interpret leisure in the light of other related concepts of the time, such as oriental lifestyle, the revival of ancient Greek schole, etc.

Ken Roberts (University of Liverpool)

Writing About Leisure

Writing is different than talking. In conversation, even in a monologue such as a lecture or conference presentation, a speaker can simply make points and be well received if the remarks are experienced as stimulating, provocative, making the listener think. Writing a book or article is different. The author needs a narrative. There has to be a start-point – a problem or question – then a body of evidence or argument, which leads to a conclusion. In other words, the writer needs a good story, and it now seems that throughout the history of leisure studies we have been searching for really good stories. There have been five main types of leisure narrative and I have tried four of them. There are ‘full frontal’ stories about leisure; then stories about different types of leisure (sport, other games, tourism, crafts, hobbies and so on). This latter type of story is the one that I have never tried to master. The third type of story is about the leisure of a specific group – a gender, age or ethnic group or a social class, for example. The fourth story is about the different types of providers of leisure goods and services. Fifth and finally, there are stories about leisure as seen through the prisms of different social theories. We can debate, and there is no need to agree on, which kind of story is best. However, we may conclude, and the story in this paper is that we can conclude, that some stories have better endings than others.

David Scott (University of Wolverhampton)

“Once they’d pushed me out of my boundaries I was like, oh it’s not too bad, I might as well stay here!”: A Phenomenology of Sport-for-Development

The disparity between the volume of proclamations regarding sport as a panacea for society’s ills, and the evidence-based justification for such claims, is well documented within academic literature. As such, research into the effects of sport-for-development has increased within the last decade in order to explore the ways in which sport might be able to stimulate social and personal development. In doing so however, there has been over-dependence in adopting Bourdieu’s social and cultural capital theory as the lens with which to view the effects such courses have on individuals’ lives, leading to a narrow and restricted understanding. By diversifying the theoretical perspectives underpinning sport-for-development investigations, wider considerations of the questions of how and why such programmes might influence individuals’ lives can be garnered.

This phenomenologically-inspired study draws heavily from symbolic interactionism, with the theoretical arguments of Goffman, Hochschild and Merleau-Ponty applied to discuss the effects participation in sport-for-development courses have on individuals’ identities. Data was collected through an ethnographic methodology, which involved the researcher immersing himself within the field by attending four Sports Leaders UK sports leadership courses. Observation notes, participant interviews and researcher reflections were used to collect data from various viewpoints and social actors.

The results bring to light the wide range of individual experiences resulting from engagement with sport-for-development. The application of phenomenology draws attention to the individual’s meaning making processes during and after the course, the ways in which these meanings are applied within their everyday life, and the key social interactions which influenced their experience. The research was joint-funded by Sports Leaders UK, meaning that the results will be utilised to inform future training and practice of their tutors. It is also hoped that these results will highlight the unsatisfactory and insubstantial evaluative processes currently in place for sport-for-development, and might lead to more diverse theoretical explorations within the field which diverge from the over-saturation of social and cultural capital theory.

Nicola De Martini Ugolotti (Bournemouth University)

Of Walls, Leaps and Bridges: Embodied and Emplaced Methodologies for a Critical Analysis of Leisure, Identity and Power

In this paper I explore the epistemological and methodological contingencies that push the boundaries of leisure research at the intersection of subjectivity, physicality, spatiality and power. The presentation will draw on my doctoral research, which focused on the daily practice of capoeira and parkour enacted by groups of young men of migrant origins as means to negotiate self, place and belonging in Turin, Italy. Through this empirical study, I will reflect on the multi-method qualitative approach that enabled me to consider the manifold constituencies of the embodied/emplaced experience, inscribed on the body, and urban spaces through power and discourse, and negotiated by actors through daily practice (see also Pavlidis and Fullagar, 2013). Informed by a Physical Cultural Studies sensibility (Silk and Andrews, 2011; Silk et al., 2015), this paper will address the creativity and analytical rigour that the critical analysis of leisure, power and the self both offer and require, and that I developed in this study through bodily/spatial, textual and visual means of inquiry and knowledge co-construction. Addressing (post)migrant youth's embodied and emplaced negotiation of inclusion/exclusion processes in Turin's cityscape, I explore the complexity, reflexivity and empirical vulnerability experienced when pushing the boundaries of knowledge production on the body/space/self/power nexus. In engaging with this project, which I see productive for a critical leisure research, I advocate for studies that focus on the mutual constitution of bodies and spaces in the daily (re)production and negotiation of subjectivity and power. This epistemological, theoretical and methodological focus enables the blurring of the boundaries between researcher and researched, and acknowledges the co-emergence of meaning and experience in the embodied, and emplaced ethnographic encounter (Pink, 2011; Francombe et al., 2014). I contend that this methodological approach is one that can destabilize taken for granted forms of knowledge production about leisure and physical cultures (Giardina and Newman, 2011a, 2011b), and makes salient sites of intersectional inequality in contemporary urban sites. The discussion will show how this methodological approach provided a unique perspective to address the discourses, processes, and subjectivities shaping, and being shaped by (post)migrant youth embodied and emplaced practices and negotiations.


Francombe, J., Rich, E. and, De Pian, L,. 2014. I Move Like You... But Different: Biopolitics and Embodied Methodologies. Cultural Studies↔Critical Methodologies, 14 (5), pp. 471-482.

Giardina, M., and Newman, J., 2011a. Physical Cultural Studies and Embodied Research Acts. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 11 (6), pp. 523- 534.

Giardina, M. and Newman, J., 2011b. Cultural Studies: Performative Imperatives and Bodily Articulations. In: Lincoln and Denzin, eds., Handbook of Qualitative Research (4th Ed.). London: Sage Publications, pp. 179-194.

Pavlidis, A & Fullagar, S., 2013. Narrating the multiplicity of “derby grrrl”: Exploring intersectionality and the dynamics of affect in roller derby, Leisure Sciences, 35(5), pp. 422-437

Pink, S., 2011. From embodiment to emplacement: re-thinking competing bodies, senses, and spatialities. Sport, Education and Society, 16 (3), pp. 343-355.

Silk, M., and Andrews, D., 2011. Toward a physical cultural studies. Sociology of Sport Journal, 28 (1), pp. 4-35.  

Silk, M., Francombe-Webb, J., Rich, E., and Merchant, S., 2015. On the Transgressive Possibilities of Physical Pedagogic Practices. Qualitative Inquiry. DOI: 10.1177/1077800415569787, pp. 1-14.

Felice Yuen (Concordia University)

“Drums are Beaten. They are Heartbeat”: Leisure, Healing, and Reconciliation

As argued by Fox and Lashua (2010), “dominant leisure practices and programs are imbricated in Euro-North American values related to capitalism, excellence, people as expendable resources, and profit lines that ignore the well-being and flourishing of human and non-human communities” (p. 238). Leisure’s role in the reproduction and reinforcement of colonizing forces have oppressed and marginalized Canada’s Indigenous population for the past 500 years. In 2015, Canada`s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) inquiry into the effects of colonization and, more specifically, Indian Residential Schools culminated in ninety-four calls to action. In light of their recommendations, this presentation focuses on how leisure practitioners and researchers can reconceptualise the experience of leisure within an Indigenous framework of healing and reconciliation.

The recommendations discussed are based on a study, founded in a participatory action research and Indigenous methodologies, which explored and promoted healing with Indigenous women. Data were collected with eight Indigenous women who created body maps of their healing journeys and shared their stories through semi-structured interviews about their body maps. Collage and poetry served as both the form of analysis and representation, highlighting aspects of healing in the women’s stories. This presentation focuses on leisure`s role in healing and reconciliation for Indigenous women. As stated by one of the artist-participants, “I heal my own life; I gather with others”. Specifically, the discussion will emphasize using leisure as a context for intergenerational experiences, collectively celebrating and embracing Indigenous culture, and collectively honouring the history of Indigenous peoples: their strength, their resilience, and the ongoing intergenerational trauma of colonization.


Sjollema, S., & Yuen, F. (in press). Evocative words and ethical crafting: Poetic representation in leisure research. Leisure Sciences.

Lu, L., & Yuen, F. (2012). Journey Women: Art Therapy in a Decolonizing Framework of Practice. Arts in Psychotherapy: Special issue on Social Justice, 39(2), 192-200.

Yuen, F. (2011). “I've never been so free in all my life”: Healing through Aboriginal ceremonies in prison. Leisure/Loisir: Special Issue, Leisure, Space, and Social Change, 35(2), 97-113.

Maria Helena M. B. Santos (University of Sao Paulo)

Pushing the boundaries? Our research, policy and practice

Since the 1960s, the Brazilian political institutions responsible for culture and heritage preservation have, gradually, sought the treatment of cultural issues in the interface between urban, ecological and economic issues (Fonseca, 2005; Marins, 2012; Motta, 2000; Sant’Anna, 1995, 2004). In this context, it is observed that enjoyment of cultural heritage has been stimulated by these institutions, in close relationship with leisure and specifically with tourism, as relevant expression activity in contemporary society, considering its economic dimension and its social valuation (Kadt, 1996; Nuryanti, 1996). Analysis of scientific research syntheses and different public policy documents for heritage preservation, developed between 1980 and 2015, from critical reading, through a descriptive and critical approach of the material policy dimension (Frey, 2000), indicates that projects of preservation and of urban intervention in Brazil make explicit the growing development of leisure experiences mediated by consumption and/or for the reinforcement of alienation and escape behaviours, in the uses of available time. Oppressive and unsustainable situations have contributed to maintain an incessant and unconscious state of search for the relief of frustration, manifested by an increasing number of people, in situations characterized by endless processes of planning and beginning of the “next adventure” (Bauman, 2013; Bruhns, 2002; Dumazedier,1979, 2008; Marcellino, 2007). Leisure and tourism experiences in different cases studied have not fostered significant experiences of cultural enjoyment by users/tourists, chaired by the interpretation of the meanings, values and knowledge confronted in cultural heritage, with the respective grasp of cultural references imbricated in its conformation (Bonduki, 2010; Kuhl, 2008; Jacobs, 2011; Jose, 2007;

Santos, 2015; Vargas, 2009). Moreover, we can observe a limited interface between the public policy of heritage preservation, of tourism and of leisure, misaligned efforts by public institutions, although in the sectorial context of implementation – of each policy – it demonstrates the reach of relevant results. This paper examines the absence of guidelines and the prospect of encouraging meaningful leisure experiences, cultural appreciation of available time, development of historical consciousness, qualified reflection on experiences, and the development of society and places.

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