LSA Exec ‘top picks’ from Leisure Studies: Louise Platt

In the second of the series digital comms officer, Louise Platt shares her picks from Leisure Studies journal.

Louise Platt
Manchester Metropolitan University

I didn’t really have to think too hard for this job…although I did have to spend some time narrowing the selection down to just 3 papers. I had a think about which papers I wanted to share with you all, what might you enjoy rediscovering or who’s work did I want to celebrate.

My first pick was simple and is a paper I have returned to many times in help me think about the way in which I do leisure research. The paper is Leisure Studies and Intersectionality (Vol 32: 1) published in 2013 and written by Beccy Watson and Shelia Scraton. The paper was at the fore of my mind after running a symposium on gender and events with fellow LSA-er Rebecca Finkel. We invited Beccy to deliver the keynote and take part in a workshop of doing feminist research in events. I think that event scholars can learn a lot from this paper (alongside the work of Cara Aitchison …can I sneak in a bonus pick by saying that…I am the blog editor after all so I make the rules!).

My second pick is a great paper that speaks to something I do in my leisure time…knitting! I have written myself about knitting groups elsewhere but I definitely drew on this paper by Kate Orton-Johnson from (Vol 33: 3) Knit, Purl and Upload: New technologies, digital mediations and the experiences of leisure. I identify with the paper in terms of the online knitting communities that Kate speaks about and my own leisure connects with knitters across the globe.

My final choice is a paper I am sharing as I wanted to champion the work of Kate Themen and Jenny Van Hooff, Kicking against tradition: Women’s football, negotiating friendships and social spaces. (vol 36: 4). The paper uses women’s football as a lens to explore the nature of women’s friendships. This work emerged from Kate’s PhD and both Jenny and Kate work at Manchester Met albeit in a different department to me.

I hope you enjoy the selection that I have picked out for you. There is some brilliant work (and always has been) in Leisure Studies journal by some great women scholars and long may this continue!


LSA Exec ‘top picks’ from Leisure Studies: Ian Jones

In the first of our new series, which will see the LSA executive committee select their favourite papers from Leisure Studies, Ian Jones shares his choices. We hope that this new series will get members to revisit some classics or explore new readings. We would love for you to use the comments at the end of the blog to share your thoughts of these pieces or send you thoughts to us as a blog post in response

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Leisure Reflections No. 46: The Literature Review in Exploratory Leisure Research

By Robert A. Stebbins. University of Calgary
Website (personal):
Website (Perspective):

I think it safe to state that research on leisure is mainly quantitative, sometimes hypothesis-driven, and centered on known, previously studied questions. The place of the “lit” review in this area of investigation is well established, and certainly has good reason for existing as scientific practice. Let us call it the confirmatory lit review. What is poorly understood by comparison, is the nature and role of the lit review in exploratory research aimed at developing grounded theory, the exploratory lit review.

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Prof. Jonathan Long awarded ‘Honorary Lifetime Member’ of the LSA


Tom Fletcher, Chair of the LSA:

Over the Summer, Jonathan Long posted a message on the LSA Jiscmail informing us of his retirement from Leeds Beckett and his subsequent decision to end his membership of the LSA after some forty years of continuous membership. Upon reading this, I immediately sent an email to Spencer Swain, our Secretary asking him to add an item to the agenda of the next meeting of the Executive. That item was ‘Honorary Lifetime Membership’.

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What does geography do for us?

By David Crouch
University of Derby

What does geography do for us? A generation or two ago, it told us where, how big and when this or that site could be found. It taught us the distance between here and there. Space was distance between. Thee bitty things, fragments of facts and little understanding had some curious heritage: expeditions for exploitation, defence but equally attack. In the years before and during the second world war the excitement was focused on the ‘best’ sic use of resources for building the Nazis’ brave new world: cost efficiencies like this war vital in locating gas chambers and so on. Fellow traveller Christaller had been a major influence at the time, and in the decades that followed, became a core text, eagerly grasped by the seventies’ work on location analysis. In all of this ‘heritage’ there was little sign of human beings, only their resources. Of course, efficiency became a shared value across divergent cultures and politics during the second world war in particular, and in its aftermath, crucial times to make the best of vanishing energies and resources, that could then be put humanely to better use, yet still often more in statistical terms, increasingly the only approach to human dimensions; human life, lived experience all but deleted from human geography, yet life happens here and there, whatever happens.

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Leisure Reflections No 45: Being a Politician in a Democracy: No Work like It

By Bob Stebbins. University of Calgary
Website (personal):
Website (Perspective):

As a sociologist with a long-standing interest in work and leisure, I have wondered from time to time how to describe high-level politicians at work in democratic societies. Fresh off my initial study of amateurs in the mid-1970s, I became intrigued with James Q. Wilson’s The Amateur Democrat when it first came to my attention. Since I planned additional research across the range of amateurism, why not study this manifestation of it? I mentioned my intentions to a colleague in political science, who very quickly responded with a snort: “there is no such thing!” (as an amateur politician).

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Open Thinking

By Professor David Crouch
University of Derby

The notion that we are in a post-disciplinary world has enjoyed an increasing hearing in recent years. It matters for leisure studies because it both offers opportunities and also enormous complexity. In ways, as a sub-discipline [an unappealing terms- perhaps ‘multi-discipline[d] is apposite], leisure studies has long drawn upon a clutch of disciplinary perspectives and approaches, and increasingly done so, most notably in its early days, sociology, but now across geographies, psychology and much more.

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