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The Politics of Leisure Policy provides a comprehensive account of the major issues in relation to sports, arts and recreational policy in the s. It traces the .
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Back in the s there was a trend in some varieties of the social sciences to take popular culture seriously, including sport. Garry Whannel was one of those who at the time set out the reasons. In his pioneering book, Blowing the Whistle , Garry suggested a five point manifesto:. First, the need to take all aspects of social life seriously, especially popular cultural forms like sport. Second, recognise that sport contributes to the way people see the world, engage and offer alternatives. Third, physical well-being, health and fitness are important to human development.

Fourth, play in some form will be an important element of a more fulfilling society. Fifth, leisure will become an increasingly politicised issue, battles will be fought over who has leisure time, how it is spent and how it is provided for. You just do it. One of the figures most closely identified with this period, Stuart Hall, set out in an autobiographical essay why such a focus was so important:. Second, because the cultural dimension seemed to us not a secondary, but a constitutive dimension of society. Hall offered this position as representing a fundamental challenge to how politics was traditionally defined.

By the mid s the kind of politics Hall was proposing was being applied in a wide variety of ways, one of which was via the kind of writing on sport Garry Whannel and others were beginning to develop and popularise. Collaborating with his co-editor, fellow academic Alan Tomlinson, in Garry co-edited the collection Five Ring Circus , a critique by a diverse group of writers and activists of the forthcoming Los Angeles Olympics, widely recognised as the Games which accelerated the process of commercialisation into all that the Olympics have now become.

One year on from London the failure to fulfill the three core pledges is obvious. In reviewing these failures we need to combine critique with an understanding of what a better sport culture would look like. This requires an appreciation that while sport is socially constructed at the same time it has a liberatory potential.

To recognise that leisure, recreation and participation are vital parts of any good society.

And that the corporate domination of sport for many is their most vivid and meaningful experience of commodification. In short, a recognition that for some of us, sport is politics. Click here to cancel reply. Email address:.

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Politically engaged leisure is dependent on a sense of citizenship and it is important to individual and collective identities through shared political values and goals. Notably, the concept of politically engaged leisure acknowledges the satisfaction and pleasure of participating in politics individually and collectively for a perceived good citizenship , rather than a consumer good. Young people especially students tend to have fewer responsibilities and more free time than older generations to pursue leisure interests and thus they are generally more available and able to take part in politically engaged leisure pursuits.

Participating in politically engaged leisure can be a formative part of the political socialisation of young people as they are exposed to political influence. Thus, politically engaged leisure takes place during time free from work, obligations and responsibilities on a voluntary basis. Politically engaged leisure provides opportunities for relaxation, self-expression, creativity, broadening of knowledge and social participation.

In addition, politically engaged leisure embraces knowledge, experience, and specific skills, as well as being highly interesting, important and fulfilling to the participant, involving earnestness, sincerity, importance, and carefulness, as stated in the SLP. Politically engaged leisure is therefore both a conventional and a counter-hegemonic form of leisure, which embraces the contemporary political context.

The politics of leisure policy

Indeed, politically engaged leisure can be considered valuable and pleasurable to the participant in part due to the positive emotions it engenders. However, the role of emotions in politics is usually overlooked Braud A collective identity is not simply the drawing of a cognitive boundary; most of all, it is an emotion, a positive affect toward other group members on the grounds of that common membership. Defining oneself through the help of a collective label entails an affective as well as cognitive mapping of the social world. Partly because of this affection, participation in social movements can be pleasurable in itself, independently of the ultimate goals and outcomes Jasper The very fact of the concentration acts as an exceptionally powerful stimulant.

When they are once come together, a sort of electricity is formed by their collecting which quickly transports them to an extraordinary degree of exaltation. Every sentiment expressed finds a place without resistance in all the minds, which are very open to outside impressions; each re-echoes the others, and is re-echoed by the others Durkheim These pleasures rooted in collective leisure see also Best 14 and collective political participation, for example, being an activist in the youth wing of a political party, taking part in a march, producing political art, or staying on a peace camp see Gallant ; Latzko-Toth, Pastinelli and Gallant ; Van de Velde mirror many of the personal and social rewards provided by serious leisure according to Stebbins see above.

It also shows the lack of cross fertilisation among academic fields, especially between the Sociology of Leisure and Political Science. Yet both leisure and political participation play key roles in the individual and collective identities of young people. The potential for individual and collective political participation to be considered a serious leisure pursuit is also under-analysed within the Serious Leisure Perspective.

Thus, Stebbins seems to discount the specificities of young people in leisure depoliticise serious leisure. Not encompassing political participation — especially among young people — as a form of serious leisure in the Serious Leisure Perspective reveals a limit of this theoretical framework to date. However, with the growth of Leisure Studies, Youth Studies and Political Sociology the Serious Leisure Perspective is being applied to ever-wider contexts; there thus exists increasing scope for political participation to be examined as a serious leisure pursuit as it does fit many of the criteria ascribed to serious leisure pursuits by Stebbins.

Here politics and leisure are combined primarily through a sense of pleasure from shared belonging, shared identities and shared post-materialistic goals within the realm of citizenship, which are appealing to young people In Britain, in the twenty-first century, political participation across the scale of committed is growing particularly among young people.

Much participation is facilitated through the increasing use of social media and new technologies in leisure and politics. Abrams, Mark. The Teenage Consumer.

Leisure, Sport and Tourism, Politics, Policy and Planning : A. J. Veal :

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