ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Sociology of Leisure, RC13

RC13 main page

Program Coordinator

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 22.


For sessions program and schedule see

On-line congress program


Leisure and Healthy Ageing

Session Organizer
Francis LOBO, Edith Cowan University, Australia,

Session in English

Ageing and health are common ground in an unequal world. Research informs us that leisure offer benefits towards healthy ageing in terms of physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of human well-being. Participation in physical activity contributes to overall health, despite constraints to active lifestyles. Happiness, cognitive functioning and vitality are the psychological benefits of leisure. Social wellbeing is known to accrue from leisure activity and is particularly beneficial in therapeutic recreation. The role of leisure in spiritual activity has coping modalities in various cultural traditions. Theorists and practitioners are invited to contribute new knowledge or confirm findings on the role of leisure in promoting healthy ageing by submitting papers for the Yokohama Congress in 2014.


Leisure and Quality of Life

Session Organizer
Ma HUIDI, Chinese National Academy of Arts, China,

Session in English

Leisure is not only one of the basic living conditions, but also the core factor of quality of life. According to Aristotle science, philosophy, art and religion are factors that impact the quality of life. They are also elements that are fundamental to the experience of the highest form of leisure.

But the human being today is undergoing restlessness being occupied with too many things and has no time for reflection – an element that is necessary for the growth and experience of science, philosophy, art and religion. The overindulgence in sensual pleasures and materialistic preoccupations takes a person away from a leisured experience which is essential for enhancing the quality of life.

The paradox today is to use the free time available in a judicious way so as to improve the quality of life and not be given only to physical and material pleasures. The aim of this session is to evoke a discussion on the relationship between leisure and the quality of life.


Leisure in an Unequal World: Global Reflections. Part I

Session Organizer
Ishwar MODI, India International Institute of Social Sciences, India,

Session in English

Invited Presidential Sessions
Not open for submission of abstracts

Inequality and domination present the deepest barriers to tackling the daunting challenges of our times. It is the presumption of this Congress that “instability and uncertainty that characterize the world today have their origin in the fact that an immense and vertiginous accumulation of wealth by a few has precipitated the dispossession, impoverishment and exclusion of millions of human beings in all latitudes of our planet.

Even though it is true that not a single society has been free of this historical condition, we must accept that throughout the 20th century, particularly in its last three decades, social polarization has been aggravated by a tragic combination of institutional intolerance, war, socio/natural disasters and the neglect, relegation or even dismantling of models of social organization centered on the value and defense of common and public services and institutions.” None of the present day social institutions and social phenomena can claim not to have been impacted by global inequality.

Leisure as a social phenomenon of utmost importance in human life has also been impacted by inequality to the utmost. While the centrality of leisure, which is one of the most cherished goal in life, and not a tool like money and power to achieve the desired quality of life and leisure, can hardly be overemphasized. It is equally true that leisure and our leisure dreams are deeply related and intertwined with such other social categories and phenomena as education, children, youth, ageing, family, women, work, volunteering, migration, community cohesion and ethnic relations, urbanization, environment, science and technology, health and happiness, quality of life, body, media and communication, social transformation, sports, tourism, culture, and the arts. This session will reflect upon the patterns and the practices of leisure as are existing and operative in today`s unequal world in global perspective.


Leisure in an Unequal World: Global Reflections. Part II

Session Organizer
Ishwar MODI, India International Institute of Social Sciences, India,

Session in English

Invited Presidential Sessions
Not open for submission of abstracts


Leisure, Culture and the Arts in Times of Turmoil

Session Organizers
Lynne CIOCHETTO, Massey University, New Zealand,
Mokong Simon MAPADIMENG, North-West University, South Africa,

Session in English

The defining issues of the 21st century – environmental issues and climate change – will impact on every facet of contemporary life. It can be argued that the same global forces that brought on the economic crisis of 2008 – the unregulated expansion of contemporary capitalism – brought about the acceleration in climate change in recent decades. Responding to climate change requires a major cultural shift in values, behavior and the economy. Every sector will need to change.

One of the most significant changes to contemporary leisure will be the curtailing of travel, by air and land. Issues of waste and the over consumption of scarce resources will bring a halt to consumerism and shopping as a leisure activity. People are going to have to live within their ecological footprint. These changes will also impact on arts and culture. The decline of travel will affect the tourism and the automobile sectors. Leisure and holidays will be spent nearer home. Localization of leisure could stimulate local culture and the arts, as well as prompting more “virtual” experiences and time spent using new technology. The arts will also play a key role in leading the critique of contemporary society and stimulating change. Digital technologies can help in “imagining” this new future as contemporary societies adjust to a massive cultural shift in values that is as significant as the advent of capitalism in the nineteenth century.


Leisure, Market Capitalism and the State in East Asia

Session Organizers
Robert STEBBINS, University of Calgary, Canada,
Scott NORTH, Osaka University, Japan,

Session in English

This panel seeks papers that address questions related to the theme of leisure and the state in the context of rapidly developing, highly industrialized market capitalism in the hard working societies of East Asia (Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea). The aim of the panel is to stimulate a geographically balanced dialogue and comparison of the trajectories of leisure in East Asia. Submissions may be about any aspect of leisure, markets and states in East Asia. Suggestions include, the influence of “developmental state” industrial fetishism and top-down social planning on leisure pursuits, reflections on the condition of indigenous, grassroots, and pre-industrial leisure activities in the face of market pressures and commercialization of leisure, the disappearance of native leisure under industrial and post-industrial cultural and legal regimes, and the importation of “modern” notions and forms of leisure. Papers for this panel may also consider the role of East Asia`s comparatively long work hours and other socio-economic and cultural constraints on leisure.


RC13 Business Meeting

Session Organizers
Ishwar MODI, India International Institute of Social Sciences, India,
Veena SHARMA, Prajna Foundation, India,


RC13 Roundtable: Multi-Dimensionality of Leisure

Session Organizers
Alan LAW, Trent University, Canada,
Veena SHARMA, Prajna Foundation, India,

Session in English

With increasing possibilities of huge numbers of peoples moving from one part of the globe to another as a result of globalisation and opening up of frontiers that otherwise had remained closed or only partially open, the world is becoming more and more multicultural in form. Leisure, as a fundamental component of human life has not remained untouched by this phenomenon. Multifarious forms of leisure that are hybrid in nature have emerged as a result of interactions of peoples that earlier may not even have heard about each other. Other than this, there is the policy of opening up to erstwhile marginalised cultures that are now beginning to make an appearance in metropolises and other areas.

Multidimensional leisure is allowing varied peoples to mingle and create spaces where reconciliation and harmony can take place. Papers in this session will focus on the integration of erstwhile neglected cultures so as to broaden the domain of leisure and explore its potential for bringing varied peoples together.


The Legitimation of Emotion in Leisure Practices across Genders and Generations

Session Organizers
Fabio LO VERDE, University of Palermo, Italy,
Gianna CAPPELLO, University of Palermo, Italy,

Session in English

Generations, in different countries, have often had specific, generation-bound ways of engaging in leisure practices. Accordingly, the emotions associated to them have been differently legitimated throughout the years. Some of them were legitimate and socially shared in certain historical moments, some others were instead condemned. What are the orientations of contemporary generations with regards to the emotions which are considered legitimate and experienced in their leisure time? What are the differences within generations and genders in different countries? To reflect on these forms and practices of leisure implies to think about either the importance of leisure in postmodernity or the importance of emotions in leisure decisions.


Theories and Methods in Leisure Research: New Challenges in an Era of Increased Global Flows and Inter-Dependence alongside Wider Inequalities

Session Organizer
Kenneth ROBERTS, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom,

Session in English

The number of countries represented in RC13 increases from conference to conference. This is just one aspect of globalisation. There are also increasing international flows in and for leisure of tourists, sounds, images and other kinds of text. This may lead to global convergences in leisure and its uses, but it may also accentuate differences, especially in an era of widening inequalities between and within countries. Ulrich Beck has claimed that methodological nationalism is outdated in our present age. Papers are invited which consider whether and how research methods and theories of leisure need to adapt.


Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Children and Leisure: Intersectional Inequalities

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC53 Sociology of Childhood


Facing the End of “Leisure Culture” in Today`s Unequal World

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure and RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge and Culture [host committee]


Global Environmental Degradation: Leisure and Tourism Perspectives

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC50 International Tourism


Leisure and Education in an Unequal World

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


Leisure and Family: A Mutually Supportive Relationship

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]


Leisure and the Pursuit of Health and Happiness in an Unequal World

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC15 Sociology of Health


Leisure and the Reproduction of Inequality

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure and RC28 Social Stratification [host committee]


Leisure as an Agency for Collective Mobilization of Youth and the Quest for Equality

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC34 Sociology of Youth


Reinstating the Body: Equal Footing for the Spiritual and the Physical, a Leisure Approach

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure and RC54 The Body in the Social Sciences [host committee]


Women, Leisure and Gender Politics in Globalising Times

Joint session of RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society



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June 2014