Human rights, leisure and leisure studies

Publication Type:
Journal Article
World Leisure Journal, 2015, 57 (4), pp. 249 - 272
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2015 World Leisure Organization. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, endorsed by the United Nations in 1948, includes the right to leisure time, to cultural participation and to travel. While the idea of human rights permeates many aspects of national and international life, it has not permeated the field of leisure studies to any great extent. The purpose of this paper is not to remedy this situation but to argue that this neglect is unjustified and to suggest that leisure researchers might incorporate the idea of human rights and leisure rights into their work. The paper is divided into six main parts. First, it considers the parallels between the neglect of human rights in sociology and in leisure studies. Second, it considers the basis of human rights in general. Third, it examines the nature of the leisure rights declared in the Universal Declaration. Fourth, the place of leisure in the general critique of economic, social and cultural rights is assessed. Fifth, the relationship between human rights and a number of themes in leisure studies is briefly explored, including: the work/leisure divide; the individual versus society; freedom; gender; globalization; and policy. Finally, some suggestions are made for a research agenda on leisure and human rights.
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