LSA Exec Top Picks: Matt Hutchinson

The LSA exec committee have been choosing their favourite articles from Leisure Studies and making the articles open access for one month. We haven’t done one in a while but now we have some new committee members it is time to relaunch this feature! This month, Matt Hutchinson, our student rep shares his…

Xue,H., Newman, J.I, & Du, J. (2019) Narratives, identity and community in esports, Leisure Studies, 38:6, 845-861

For me this is hits nicely for my PhD, using methods such as a netnography, in the form of Reddit, is what I am using currently and is great way of developing co-created data and rich amounts of it. Secondly, e-sports is something that, without sounding old (as a 23 year old), when I was a kid, was seen as a hobby and playful leisure, whereas now it is serious leisure and can make, as seen recently, teenagers millions of pounds! The authors investigating modern leisure with modern methods, makes this an exciting article to read and sociologically important. Understanding the identity’s of these people and their stories are important as e-sports grow and therefore this article is one of my top picks!

Schupp, K. (2019): I can’t. I have dance: dance competition culture as serious leisure and pre-professional training, Leisure Studies, DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2019.1643902

At first glance, this may seem a strange choice and again focuses on a sport that has moved from leisure to serious leisure. However, as a teenager I used to coach football, initially every Saturday and Sunday morning and I took that role very seriously. Therefore there were often times as the title here presents where I turned down social opportunities due to coaching, I didn’t want to turn up to coaching hungover basically! Therefore finding an article like this for me, lets me know that I wasn’t alone in this. Other themes this article focuses upon are competition culture as physical culture, competition culture as serious leisure, competition culture as a hobby, competition culture as an amateur and competition culture as preparation for pre-professional training and although focuses upon dance, its application broadly is there to see. The rise of scholarships and professional dance schools had turned this into serious leisure, where people engage both as a hobby but also with the aim of gaining a job.

Dixon, K. (2014) Football fandom and Disneyisation in late-modern life, Leisure Studies, 33:1, 1-21

Maybe some slight biases here, as Kevin was my Undergraduate Dissertation Supervisor and someone I have a lot of respect for and the paper assess fans in the North East of England, my home area! This paper demonstrates the changes that have occurred in Fandom and the research found that although previously there was scepticism to Disneyisation, respondents had actually warmed to the idea of the concept. This work is of particular interest for my PhD as it discusses some of the marketing implications, with this quote: ‘Rebecca: If they played in a black and white bin bag I’d buy it for forty quid (pounds) (Newcastle, aged 24 [MF]), showing the fans will buy anything with the teams logo on it.

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