Second ISA Forum of Sociology, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1-4 August 2012

Research Committee on
Sociology of Leisure, RC13

  on-line programme

Main theme

Leisure in turbulent times


Programme Coordinator

Ishwar MODI, India International Institute of Social Sciences, Jaipur, India,

RC13 Liaison in Argentina
Lía Ferrero, Universidad de Buenos Aires,


All Forum participants (presenters, chairs, discussants, etc.) need to pay the early registration fee by April 10, 2012, in order to be included in the programme. If not registered, their names will not appear in the Programme or Abstracts Book.


provisional as of March 15, 2012, in alphabetical order


Cultural and spiritual leisure values of the East and West

From its inception the concept of leisure as a discipline for academic and intellectual study carried deep connotation of the spiritual and the religious. Some of the deepest leisure experiences have been those realized at the religious/spiritual levels. It is those that have given to humanity the most prized art objects and the greatest of literatures. The greatest world transformers may have been persons who realized leisure at the deepest levels of their being and then disseminated or shared it with the rest of the world. The session would encourage comparative approaches – drawing from the East and the West – to highlight the role of the spiritual experience of leisure in bringing up new modes of relating to fellow humans and to the environment.


Democratization and the promise of leisure


Future of leisure in a troubled world

The human need for some form of leisure persists even in the face of the most dire situations and although war, economic depression, and natural disasters diminish opportunities for leisure as it is generally conceived, they do not extinguish the human propensity to play. Indeed, such traumas may stimulate leisure creativity. Of course, many leisure practices are means of denial, more or less temporary escapes from trouble, and modes of leisure may act as safety valves for the release of mental or emotional tensions. But leisure practices may also be significant vehicles for mobilizing resistance and promoting solutions to troubles.

To expand our awareness of the human talent for leisure and to specify for future use the forms of leisure practiced in the midst of troubles past and present, this panel seeks papers that address leisure in the midst of troubles. Papers based on empirical data or bodies of historical literature are encouraged regardless of theoretical or methodological approach. We are keen to include a variety of papers covering multiple historical periods and geographical areas. Cross-cultural, multinational, and historical-comparative papers are especially sought.


Leisure across disciplines: Theories and methods

Leisure has a strong interdisciplinary tradition of research precisely because of its natural tendency to overflow into psychological, social, economic, cultural, architectural, technological, etc. dimensions. The relationship between leisure studies and the leisure sciences is an example of this: both are different and yet interdisciplinary by nature.

No branch of knowledge, discipline or sub-discipline of a subject whether it is sociology of leisure or something else can grow and base itself on a firm foundation until it has developed a strong conceptual and theoretical base along with appropriate methods and tools of investigation and research. Formulating concepts, methods and theories is a constant task for a sub-discipline like the sociology of leisure. This session seeks papers which could provide a sound base for theoretical and methodological constructions to strengthen the sociology of leisure.


Leisure and digital transformation: Emerging patterns of communication and electronic community/ El ocio y las transformaciones digitales/ Les loisirs et les transformations numériques

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] , RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture and RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology
Application of digital technology in all aspects of human life has not only changed but has actually transformed human life. Digitization, by enabling new types of innovation and creativity in particular domains, has not only revolutionized communication but has also enhanced support to traditional methods. Digital transformation affects not only government, business, mass communication, art or even medicine but also leisure in a significant manner.

Digital transformation not only refers to the concept of `going paperless´ but also visiting places virtually and making use of leisure in manners hitherto unknown and unpracticed. One major consequence of digital transformation is the creation of electronic and virtual communities that have totally changed the character of leisure. The global computer network of the Internet is beginning to make radical changes in the way consumers conduct their economic, social, leisure and professional lives.

This session may also examine that how leading electronic communities that are revolutionizing the way consumers plan vacations, watch sports, find jobs and conduct other key aspects of their lives including leisure. The changes brought about by digital transformation offer not only significant opportunities but also the threats ahead. The session would examine if this revolution is a boon or a bane.

La aplicación de tecnología en todos los aspectos de la vida humana, no solamente, ha cambiado, sino, ha transformado la vida humana. La digitalización ha permitido nuevos tipos de innovación y creatividad a nivel indivudual; así como también, la revolución de las comunicaciones y de los métodos de aplicación de ellas.

La transformación digital no solo afecta a gobiernos, la economía, la comunicación de masa, las artes o la medicina, sino también, al tipo de ocio relizado en la actualidad; visitando, de forma virtual, lugares, por citar solo un ejemplo. Internet está empezando a hacer cambios radicales en la manera en que los consumidores planean vacaciones, miran deportes, encuentran trabajos, y manejan otros aspectos claves de sus vidas.

Los cambios que se están creado ofrecen, no solo, oportunidades, sino también, amenazas. Son estos cambios y potenciales escenarios de transformación que se centrará la presente sesión, con el fin de debatir y analizar los niveles y tipos de oportunidades o desventajas que desprenden las transformaciones digitales antes mencionadas.

L´application de la technologie numérique dans tous les aspects de la vie humaine n`a pas seulement changé, mais a réellement transformé la vie humaine. La numérisation, en permettant de nouveaux types d`innovation et de créativité dans des domaines particuliers, n`a pas seulement révolutionné la communication, mais a également renforcé le soutien aux méthodes traditionnelles. La transformation numérique affecte non seulement le gouvernement,les entreprises, la communication de masse, l`art ou même la médecine, mais aussi de loisirs d`une manière significative.

La transformation numérique ne concerne pas seulement la question de l´abdication du papier , mais met aussi en place la possibilité de rendre visite virtuellement , en faisant usage de loisirs dans les façons jusqu`ici inconnues. Une conséquence majeure de la transformation numérique est la création de communautés électroniques et virtuelles qui ont totalement changé le caractère de loisirs. Le réseau informatique mondial de l`Internet commence à faire des changements radicaux dans la façon dont les consommateurs peuvent exercer leurs droits économiques, sociaux, de loisirs et vie professionnelle.

Cette session peut également examiner la façon dont les communautés virtuelles révolutionnent la façon des consomateurs pour planifier leurs vacances, leurs activités esportives, rencontrent un emploi, et conduisent les aspects clefs de leurs vies, y compris les loisirs. Les changements apportés par les transformations numériques offrent non seulement des opportunités significatives, mais aussi les menaces à venir. La session examinera si cette révolution est une aubaine ou un fléau.


Leisure and the arts: Identity and self-expression


Leisure and tourism: Social and environmental concerns. Part I

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC24 Environment and Society
Tourism, a major segment of leisure has taken both enhancing and deleterious forms. Seen as an important part of the millennium Development goals, tourism has proved to be a double edged weapon with some societies benefitting greatly from it while others suffering from cultural depletion due to it. Another aspect of tourism today is the merging of pilgrimage and sacred sites with commercial tourism. How far is this merging beneficial and to what extent does it deplete the sanctity of the sacred sites. A critical examination of the transformation of meaningful cultural forms into performative sites for the pleasure of tourists, especially in traditional societies, would also be encouraged in this session. Besides this, there are significant environmental implications both of leisure and tourism and as such close examination is required of their interface in multicultural and multinational settings.


Leisure and tourism: Social and environmental concerns. Part II

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC24 Environment and Society


Leisure education: Social justice in life-long learning. Part I

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]
The concept of Lifelong Learning (LLL) is connected both with the emancipation of the citizen from the confinements created by a lack of training in these special skills demanded by the new economic activities, as well as with the social cohesion. Such learning occurs both in the context of leisure activities and work-related training. In various documents –for example those produced in the aftermath of the declaration of the so-called ‘Lisbon Strategy’ in 2000 for the EU countries— the LLL was defined as every learning activity that takes place throughout one’s own life and aims at the improvement of knowledge, skills and abilities, within a framework of personal development and of personal engagement in the labor market.

However, many critics argue that one core dimension of the life-long learning strategies so far implemented is the increasing cultivation of the idea of ‘personal responsibility’ for any future ‘investment’ that a person may wish to make in order to improve her/his negotiating power in a highly competitive labor market. Amidst the global financial crisis and increasing ‘downsizing’ of the Welfare State, what kind of barriers and inequalities in access to LLL do exist, in what ways are those manifested, how adult learners perceive their potentials and future educational and occupational prospects within this framework of opportunities?

Papers in this session should focus particularly on the interconnection between leisure and lifelong learning.


Leisure education: Social justice in life-long learning. Part II

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]


Leisure education: Social justice in life-long learning. Part III

Joint session of RC04 Sociology of Education and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]


Leisure in turbulent times


Leisure, democracy and diversity of lifestyles: Children and the youth

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC53 Sociology of Childhood
Globalization is making fast inroads into the so called homogenous societies and turning them into heterogeneous ones. As such diversity, as reflected in lifestyles as also an accepted phenomenon, has now become an accepted norm the world over, especially in its urbanized segments. This notion of diversity is further strengthened by the ideal of democracy which has been embraced and upheld by a number of nations the world over. The sections of society which encounter diversity the most and the earliest are children and the youth. They encounter this diversity not only in food, games, dress, language, music and dance, art and culture but also in almost all walks of life which finally finds expression in the practices and the patterns of their leisure. This session aims to examine how leisure and diversified lifestyles impact children and the youth in democratic, non-or-not-so-democratic and undemocratic / dictatorial societies and conversely what kinds of leisure and lifestyles evolve in these varied societies.


Leisure, urbanization, migration and ethnic relations

Joint session of RC05 Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations , RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC21 Regional and Urban Development
The postmodern context of urbanization and migration has become a part of life. The stresses and strains caused by intermingling have resulted not only in new forms of leisure that create an enabling environment for integration and comfort but also possibilities for inter-cultural exchange (including ethnic and racial dimensions) as new entrants introduce the modes of thought and leisure that they bring with them. Tension and/or conflict are also possible outcomes. The aim of this session is to draw together researchers with various sub-disciplinary specialities to examine these phenomena.


Leisure, work, time-budgets and the economic crisis

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC30 Sociology of Work
In the post modern era where work patterns have changed from clock time to completion of job in one’s own time, leisure and work time budgets have undergone drastic transformations. What is the impact of these on social leisure? Does it mean each having a leisure of his own? Can there be synchronicity of leisure or does it lead to a form of virtual leisure? Questions such as these and how the changing and harder work schedules under the conditions of economic crisis are impacting the patterns of leisure will be the focus of this session in a comparative interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective.


Multi-dimensionality of leisure in a multicultural world


RC13 Business Meeting


Transformation of leisure and ageing perspectives

Joint session of RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]
A number of societies are seeing significant increment in aged populations. Not only is leisure required to cater to their needs but contrarily in some places the perspectives and experiences of senior populations are causing a transformation in the way in which leisure may be viewed. Volunteering activities could be taken as one example. Perspectives of traditional societies with regard to the aged, which are now becoming more available for examination, could contribute significantly to this emerging need. As such, this session aims to draw multicultural and multinational comment on the relationship between leisure and ageing.


Women, leisure and the family in the age of transformations

Joint session of RC09 Social Transformations and Sociology of Development , RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society
The role of women has become considerably transformed in an age when they are bearing the responsibility of being full-time workers while also being the carers of the home and dependent family members. It is also not uncommon for women to be single parents. How do we then understand the notion of leisure for women? What is the kind of leisure that women, burdened with such responsibilities, can expect? How does family life and individual / personal biographical plans shape women’s understandings and experiences of leisure? How do gender, class, ethnicity/race, ability and age impact on one’s concept of leisure and access to leisure? What does leisure mean and how does access to leisure vary for women in different parts of the world? How does the fact that women enjoy more or less leisure impact on the structure of and relationships within families? Such and other questions are proposed to be examined and discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective in this session.




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International Sociological Association
November 2012