Leisure with impact: research, human rights, and advocacy in a reflective review of a research career
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Annals of Leisure Research, 2019, 22 (3), pp. 273 - 285
- Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 Australia and New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies. This paper presents the key messages from a keynote address I delivered to the 2017 Australia and New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies conference held in Hobart Tasmania, December 2017. In this paper, I reflect on the heuristic learnings from the role of research in addressing critical social issues in leisure and ‘cultural life’. I do so by examining my very deliberate choice to undertake industry-linked research addressing issues involving human rights, social inclusion and giving voice to marginalized groups. As an insider to these voices, I know that research itself does little to address social inequality unless there is a deliberate action by academics to translate research into outcomes through political engagement, challenging organizational practice and communicating the results publicly beyond the paywall of refereed journals. Yet, this type of academic research advocate does not fit easily within neoliberal performance-based metrics that are narrowly defined within disciplinary boundaries of contemporary higher education. As I will explain there are other rich rewards in stepping outside of these boundaries while still doing trustworthy, rigorous, theoretical investigations with high-quality traditional academic outputs. The paper presents a case study of research examining the participation and non-participation of people with disability in sport and active recreation.
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