Studying Leisure

In September 2006 the journal Leisure Studies celebrated its 25th anniversary. As one of its former editors, and a long-standing member and erstwhile Publications Officer of the Leisure Studies Association (LSA), I was interviewed, for the journal, about the growth of Leisure Studies in the UK, and delivered the opening presentation on this theme at the symposium to mark this landmark at Loughborough University on September 21.
US social scientist David Riesman, author of The Lonely Crowd (1950), wrote in 1957 that ‘there has been some tendency to regard leisure as not quite a serious topic’. But, he wrote, there are good reasons why this is an unfortunate tendency. Two of these are, first, that it is in leisure that people find meanings, satisfactions and challenges that are no longer available in work; and more ‘widely shared roles as consumers’ affect people’s outlook ‘as much as their segregated roles as producers’.

Leisure Studies, and the annual conferences and publications list of the LSA, have confirmed the seriousness of leisure as a topic for researchers. For my own reflections on more than a quarter of a century of work in this field, see Leisure Studies Volume 25 Number 3 (July 2006).

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