Call for Papers | “Emotions and Leisure: New Insights and Understandings”. Special Issue of Leisure Studies | Call ends February 14, 2022

The purpose of this special issue is to draw attention to the social and political nature of emotions experienced within leisure, and encourage critical scholarship around the associated theoretical, methodological, and applied issues of emotions within contemporary leisure contexts. The emotions experienced within and invested into leisure are some of the main reasons for our engagement with leisure throughout our lives. Whether it is the relief and escapism of divulging in a hobby away from the pressures of everyday life, the irrational love and heartbreak involved with supporting a sports team, or the rollercoaster ride of thrill and shame when immersed in practices at the margins of what is socially and legally acceptable. The influence of emotions within leisure is inescapable, yet too frequently overlooked within leisure research; therefore, casting a critical eye over the contemporary development of emotional theory within a leisure context can provide fresh understandings regarding peoples’ engagements with leisurely activities and leisure time in modern day society.

Where emotions have been directly referred to within the wide world of leisure research, most commonly in relation to sport, there is typically an overreliance on psychological perspectives of emotion. However, more sociological understandings of emotions have been developed by a wide range of disciplines over the last century to enable emotions to be understood as embodied, relational, and culturally-specific, thus enabling scholars to position emotions as being as much a social experience as they are individual. While previous emotion research in leisure has considered areas such as consumer culture, meaning making, and resilience, there is a distinct lack of emotional focus which accounts for modern phenomena; for example, the proliferation of digital technologies, the rise of right-wing nationalist political movements, the increased volume of debates regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion within physical activities – how do contemporary issues such as these impact upon both emotions and leisure?

This special issue intends to spark a revival of emotional discussions (and discussions about emotions) in leisure by drawing from a wide range of contexts, theoretical perspectives, and methodological considerations. Further research can provide greater understandings about both the individual and social processes by which leisure can contribute to (or be a detriment to) more holistic understandings of emotions. Some of the potential areas to be considered for the special issue include (but are not restricted to):

      • Methodological challenges and innovations in researching emotions in leisure, including accounting for individual, social, and embodied emotions; the decolonisation of emotions and emotion research methodologies in a leisure context; the emotions of doing leisure research
      • The socio-political emotions of digital leisure, including the role of social media influencers, gurus, and crazes on leisure experiences; the role of social media and leisure applications on emotional engagements with leisure; the professionalisation of esports and its impacts on understanding leisure and sport
      • Contemporary theories in leisure and emotions, including (but not limited to) Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Postmodernist perspectives of emotions in contemporary leisure
      • Geographies, identities, and the socio-political emotions of place and space in leisure, including peoples’ relationships with green and blue spaces; meaning making of places and spaces; transnational leisure in contemporary society
      • Culture, consumption, and emotions in leisure, including contemporary trends in the consumption of leisure activities, equipment, and clothing; the commodification of leisure sites; the neo-colonisation (or resistance) of culture in and through leisure
      • Social and political emotional investments in sport and physical activity, including the emotional experiences of navigating and negotiating the policy and politics of sport, physical activity, and leisure; the influence of socio-political emotions and leisure activities within and between personal relationships; the influence of political ideological trends on leisure engagement and experiences
      • Social inequalities and emotions in leisure, including (but not limited to) the emotional experiences of leisure from differently abled, refugee, and LGBTQ+ communities

Submission instructions

In the first instance, abstract submissions in the form of expressions of interest should be submitted. These should be between 100-200 words which outline the intended area of investigation relating to the special issue topic of emotions and leisure. Please email these with the title of the special issue in the subject line by the abstract submission deadline of midnight 14/02/22 to both guest editors using the details listed.

Original research articles up to 8000 words are strongly encouraged, although the authors will consider informed commentaries, research notes, and debate pieces of between 3000-5000 words where appropriate.

Final manuscripts are to be submitted to the ScholarOne platform under the ‘special issue title’ option.

Important Deadlines

      • Expression of interest deadline: 14th February 2022
      • Notification of acceptance: 4th March 2022
      • Manuscript submission deadline: 12th September 2022
      • Revised manuscript submission deadline: 20th February 2023
      • Publication: June 2023

Special Issue Editors

If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with them.

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