Call for Papers | “Lifestyle Sports and East Asia” | Special issue of Journal of Sport and Social Issues


The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recent decision on June 1, 2016 to introduce surfing, skateboarding, and rock climbing as demonstration sports in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has put lifestyle sports in Japan specifically and East Asia more broadly on the world map as an emerging lifestyle/action sport destination. The intersection of lifestyle sport culture and tourism development, the cultural politics negotiated within these emerging lifestyle sport destinations, their multiple histories and points of conflict, the new formations of ‘community’ and attachments to place that lifestyle sport invites, and the Olympic ‘legacies’ that may emerge from introducing lifestyle sports in the Tokyo Olympics, are all interesting areas of research deserving of further academic attention.

With this in mind we would like to draw your attention to the call for papers for the special issue on Lifestyle Sports and East Asia in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues.

The submission period for expressions of interest is open until 15th November 2016.

Guest Editors

jssi-dsThere is a rapidly growing body of scholarly research about ‘lifestyle sports’ (sometimes referred to as ‘action sports’ or ‘extreme sports’). Activities that often fall under this umbrella term used in scholarly research in the West include surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, parkour, climbing, BMX, Moto-X, BASE jumping, windsurfing, etc. Research addresses tourism, industry, identity, place/space, bodies, emotional life, risk, technology, consumption, and more. Recently, a critical dialogue has emerged around the cultural tensions of inclusion of surfing, skateboarding, and climbing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The vast majority of lifestyle sport research has been conducted in Western countries (Wheaton, 2010). Most of the research about lifestyle sports in non-Western countries has been in relation to tourism. There have been a few instances in the field which briefly touch on the cultural politics of lifestyle sports in ‘East Asia’ (Thorpe, 2014; Laderman, 2014). However, there are only the beginnings of a body of empirical research focusing on this region (See Sedo, 2010; Cheng & Tsaur, 2012; Hung & Lee, 2012; Tien-Ming & Chiang-Chuan, 2015; Manzenreiter, 2013; Evers, in press). The expansion of lifestyle sport into ‘East Asia’ is resulting in specific histories, encounters, and manifestations of activities, experiences, industry, identity, place, technology, and media. There are examples of colonization but also localization and indigenous realisations. Cultural, political, social, material, and capital encounters and exchanges are taking place by way of inter-Asian and Asia-Global South connections, rather than simply East-West. The complex refiguring of geopolitics through lifestyle sports enables new and interesting networks, politics, and possibilities that are in need of further critical attention.

This special issue of the Journal of Sport and Social Issues asks: how are East Asian networks of lifestyle sport enthusiasts, workers, governing bodies, and associated communities-ecologies forming? What are the politics of the worlds, experiences, values, and imaginaries coming about (or being blocked)? How is such being negotiated by humans and non-humans?

The purpose of this special issue is to provide a forum for discussion on the latest developments, trends, and research concerning lifestyle sports in East Asia. To achieve this, we invite contributions from across sport sociology, cultural studies, human geography, tourism studies, postcolonial studies, sport history, anthropology, gender studies, media and communication studies, and more.

Contributions could address (although, please feel free to consider other topics):

  • How the term ‘lifestyle sports’ functions in the Eastern context, e.g. in Japan many ‘sports’ are already considered a “do”, meaning a way of life not simply a sport.
  • Identities (e.g. gender, race, class, disability, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, religion)
  • Colonization and localization
  • Globalization
  • Nationalism, regionalism, and transnationalism
  • Practices of place-making and “sportscapes”
  • Indoorization of sport
  • Sportification
  • Media
  • History
  • Tourism development and its impacts
  • Industry / Work
  • Consumption and commercialisation
  • Embodiment
  • Emotional-affective life
  • Non-Human
  • Ecology/ies
  • Sustainability

Submission Schedule

Deadline for abstract (250 words) submissions: 15th November 2016
Deadline for full submissions (8,000 words including references): 30th May 2017

For more information or to submit abstracts, please contact Clifton Evers at or Adam Doering at Please note, invitation to contribute a full manuscript does not guarantee publication and all manuscripts will go through the full double-blind peer review process with at least two reviewers.


Cheng, T., & Tsaur, S. (2012). The Relationship Between Serious Leisure Characteristics and Recreation Involvement: A Case Study of Taiwan’s Surfing Activities. Leisure Studies, 31(1), pp. 53-68.
Evers, C. (in press). Surfing and Contemporary China. In D. Z. Hough-Snee & A. S. Eastman. The Critical Surf Studies Reader. Durham: Duke University Press.
Hung, C. H., & Lee, T. H. (2012). Impact of Place Attachment and Recreation Involvement on Satisfaction and Future Behaviour: Evidence from Taiwanese Recreational Surfers. South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 34(1), pp. 93-105
Laderman, S. (2014). Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing. Berkeley, CA.: University of California Press.
Manzenreiter, W. (2013). No Pain, No Gain: Embodied Masculinities and Lifestyle Sport in Japan. Contemporary Japan, 25(2), pp. 215-236.
Sedo, T. (2010). Dead-stock Boards, Blown-out Spots, and the Olympic Games: Global Twists and Local Turns in the Formation of China’s Skateboarding Community. In P. Rethmann, I. Szeman, & W. Coleman (Eds.), Cultural Autonomy: Frictions and Connections (257-s82). Vancouver, BC.: University of British Columbia Press.
Thorpe, H. (2014). Transnational Mobilities in Action Sport Cultures. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Tien-Ming, C., & Chiang-Chuan, L. (2015). The Causal Relationships among Recreational Involvement, Flow Experience, and Well-being for Surfing Activities. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 20(sup1), pp. 1486-1504.
Wheaton, B. (2010). Introducing the Consumption and Representation of Lifestyle Sports. Sport in society, 13(7-8), pp. 1057-1081.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.