Research Topic

Social Justice and Human Rights in Leisure

About this Research Topic

Access to and participation in leisure activities is commonly understood among political, lay and academic communities as an important vehicle for social change and justice, and, as such, a platform to engage activism challenging oppression and discrimination while improving individual and societal wellbeing.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to many transdisciplinary academic studies confirm the objective and subjective benefits of leisure to wellbeing. The literature is also saturated with accounts of the power of leisure engagement for one’s personal development, as well as to physical and emotional health. For example, opportunities to access leisure for those living with a disability (e.g., wheelchair rugby or basketball) have been shown to improve participant mental and physical health, as well as reduce stigma and discrimination towards these communities.

Despite this “common” knowledge, leisure is still not equitably framed in policy discourse and practice, and individuals and communities, as a consequence, are not always appropriately equipped and empowered to fully engage in and harvest benefits from meaningful leisure experiences. As a human right, leisure participation can be a powerful vehicle for transformative action and positive disruption, challenging normative practices and opening spaces for exchange and community development.

In this Research Topic, we aim to expand upon the emerging body of critical research exploring the ways in which social (in)justice can be manifested through leisure. Critical accounts of social, economic and political (in)accessibility to opportunities have framed much of the work in this emerging area, with many also challenging assumptions of the ‘inherent benefits’ of leisure or of concepts, such as “sport for all” or “inclusive games”. Questions such as leisure for whom?, for what purpose?, for whose benefit?, and under whose ‘rules’ and norms? are increasingly being asked, but answers are still elusive for most. As such, we strongly encourage submissions addressing these important questions.

With the world currently experiencing some of its greatest historical challenges, there is ever more reason to turn our attention to issues around social justice in leisure. This Topic invites scholars to provide further insights into the role of leisure in promoting and addressing social justice by investigating any aspect of this relationship. We welcome all article types including Original Research, Reviews and General Commentary articles.


Keywords: Social Equity, Social Justice, Human Rights, Inclusion, Participation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Access to and participation in leisure activities is commonly understood among political, lay and academic communities as an important vehicle for social change and justice, and, as such, a platform to engage activism challenging oppression and discrimination while improving individual and societal wellbeing.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to many transdisciplinary academic studies confirm the objective and subjective benefits of leisure to wellbeing. The literature is also saturated with accounts of the power of leisure engagement for one’s personal development, as well as to physical and emotional health. For example, opportunities to access leisure for those living with a disability (e.g., wheelchair rugby or basketball) have been shown to improve participant mental and physical health, as well as reduce stigma and discrimination towards these communities.

Despite this “common” knowledge, leisure is still not equitably framed in policy discourse and practice, and individuals and communities, as a consequence, are not always appropriately equipped and empowered to fully engage in and harvest benefits from meaningful leisure experiences. As a human right, leisure participation can be a powerful vehicle for transformative action and positive disruption, challenging normative practices and opening spaces for exchange and community development.

In this Research Topic, we aim to expand upon the emerging body of critical research exploring the ways in which social (in)justice can be manifested through leisure. Critical accounts of social, economic and political (in)accessibility to opportunities have framed much of the work in this emerging area, with many also challenging assumptions of the ‘inherent benefits’ of leisure or of concepts, such as “sport for all” or “inclusive games”. Questions such as leisure for whom?, for what purpose?, for whose benefit?, and under whose ‘rules’ and norms? are increasingly being asked, but answers are still elusive for most. As such, we strongly encourage submissions addressing these important questions.

With the world currently experiencing some of its greatest historical challenges, there is ever more reason to turn our attention to issues around social justice in leisure. This Topic invites scholars to provide further insights into the role of leisure in promoting and addressing social justice by investigating any aspect of this relationship. We welcome all article types including Original Research, Reviews and General Commentary articles.


Keywords: Social Equity, Social Justice, Human Rights, Inclusion, Participation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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