Special session at the World Leisure Congress, 11-15 December 2023, Dunedin, New Zealand

Dr Najmeh Hassanli, Prof Simon Darcy, Dr Simone Grabowski, Dr Hazel Maxwell, and Prof Carmel Foley are seeking abstracts for the following:

Leisure and marginalisation through a social-ecological lens

Session format: Lightning talk presentations followed by an open panel discussion

The Charter for Leisure calls for all human beings to have the right and access to leisure (WLO, 2020). Yet, human rights have remained a relatively under-studied area of leisure (Veal, 2015). Paradoxically, many people around the world are marginalised, excluded, and denied full access to and participation in leisure activities due to their age, gender/sexuality, [dis]ability, social class, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, or the intersectionality of these identity dimensions, resulting in serious consequences for the well-being of individuals, communities, and societies (WLO, 2020).
Social inclusion is defined as access to opportunities/resources for meaningful participation in the community’s social and cultural life, including leisure (Gallant et al., 2020). Acknowledging the mutual influence between individuals and their environments, a social-ecological approach to inclusion encompasses a complex array of individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and socio-political factors (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Simplican et al., 2015) that can further our understanding in addressing the wicked problems of (a lack of) social inclusion.
Taking such an approach recognises the complexity of power dynamics at social, structural, and systemic levels, directing more attention to the relevance of leisure research to policy development and social change (Henderson, 2014; Shaw, 2007).
Following a social-ecological approach to understanding social inclusion, we recognise that individual circumstances along with interpersonal, organizational, community, and socio-political factors shape policies, practices and attitudes towards inclusion/exclusion of various groups, and the opportunities and constraints faced in participating in leisure.
We, therefore, invite submissions that take a holistic approach to the inclusion of marginalised individuals/groups in leisure by focusing on the interdependent and interconnected relationship between two or more factors of the social-ecological approach.
Rather than describe the oppression and marginalisation of different groups, submissions are encouraged to focus on documenting how/why inequalities and social exclusions occur in leisure settings and framing transformational solutions to the issues that a social-ecological approach helps to identify. Submissions may also focus on how leisure addresses marginalisation and powerlessness and serves as a site/setting for dignity, empowerment, independence, equity and equality.
Consistent with a focus on research relevance and application, the use of inclusive and collaborative methodological approaches that are committed to honouring the lived experience and knowledge of research participants – such as participatory action research (PAR), ethnography, etc. – are encouraged (Henderson, 2014).

We invite abstracts of 300 words to be submitted via the World Leisure Congress website here. If you have any questions regarding your submission, please contact Tiffany Johnson, tiffany@conference.nz.

Key dates:
– Call for abstracts close – 4 April 2023 at 11:59pm NZST
– Abstracts presenters notified – From 25 May 2023
– Abstract presenters’ deadline to register – 15 August 2023

– Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Harvard university press.
– Gallant, K., Hutchinson, S., White, C. M., Hamilton-Hinch, B., Litwiller, F., Lauckner, H., & Burns, R. (2020). Reaching out to welcome in: Guidelines for socially inclusive recreation settings and programs for people with mental health challenges. Leisure/Loisir, 44(3), 327-351.
– Henderson, K. A. (2014). The Imperative of Leisure Justice Research. Leisure Sciences, 36(4), 340-348.
– Shaw, S. M. (2007). Re-framing questions: Assessing the significance of leisure. World Leisure Journal, 49(2), 59-68.
– Simplican, S. C., Leader, G., Kosciulek, J., & Leahy, M. (2015). Defining social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: An ecological model of social networks and community participation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38, 18-29.
– Veal, A. J. (2015). Human rights, leisure and leisure studies. World Leisure Journal, 57(4), 249-272.
– World Leisure Organisation (2020). Welcome to the World Leisure Organization Charter for Leisure 2020. Retrieved September 2021, from https://www.worldleisure.org/charter/

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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