LSA EXEC ‘top picks’ from Leisure Studies: Kat King

This month our outgoing membership officer, Kat King shares her Leisure Studies journal favourites. As from March, Kat is stepping down from her role and I think it is timely that we hear her top picks as it gives me an opportunity to offer a huge thanks to Kat on behalf of the entire membership and committee for her work. Kat has reorganised the role and introduced new benefits for members, developed a new system for renewals and worked with our treasurer to ensure a smoother joining/renewal process. I will speak more about the transition to the new membership officer in the February newsletter so for now, here are her choices….


When the idea of top picks was first suggested at an LSA exec meeting back in Autumn of 2017 this first article immediately popped into my head. ‘Places around us: embodied lay geographies in leisure and tourism’ written by David Crouch and published in 2000 was my first introduction to the field of Leisure Studies. I have always been in interested in experiences of place occurring as part of leisure and ‘lay geographies’ is a term which has had enduring relevance in my work. Crouch pays attention to the attachments, values and feelings of ownership through the practice of leisure and it’s an article I often return to because of this.

My second pick  – is an exploratory article into how fitness culture is understood and negotiated in a Japanese context. ‘The new fitness geography: the globalisation of Japanese gym and fitness culture’ (Andreasson and Johansson, 2017) is a perfect example of why Leisure Studies is worthy of a good browse some time.  This article has been really useful in my own teaching when thinking about issues around gender, culture and sport. It explores how the establishment of American and global franchises has shaped the fitness culture alongside certain strong national sentiments concerning body ideals, views on gender, exercise and relaxation. Japanese culture has always been of interest to me and the findings of this article give a window into the ways in which this particular leisure culture is performed in Japan.

My final pick caught my attention given my own position as a working mother with a young child and given I am due to start maternity leave again imminently it seemed apt. ‘Exploring the emotional geography of the leisure time physical activity space with mothers of young children’ by Wendy O’Brien, Kathy Lloyd & Caroline Riot (2016) adopts a qualitative approach to explore physical activity experiences in discourses of intensive mothering. Their findings discuss how for mothers of young children and especially women with new babies, the space of LTPA offers possibilities of self-reflection, the generation of new perspectives and new spaces to constitute meaning. It can be so hard to find times and space for your own leisure endeavours but this article underlines how beneficial it can be. I am counting down the days until I can get the paddleboard out again and enjoy some self reflection and space of my own!






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