Leisure and the University: International Perspectives

Samuel Elkington, Sandro Carnicelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern leisure has evolved into a complex domain of life with myriad personal and societal meanings and is increasingly recognised as having significant human, social, economic, and political value; contributing to quality of life, mental and physical health and the wellbeing of both individuals and communities (Kim et al., 2018; Lee & Heo, 2021). The experience of leisure is central to the modern university experience, affording distinctive sites for individual development, expression, and experimentation (Lehto et al., 2014; Denovan & Macaskill, 2017). In 1980, recognising the importance of this relationship, Tony Mobley made the case for a holistic conceptualisation of leisure on university campuses. He argued that it was important that a total concept of leisure evolve to capture and understand the multifarious forms of leisure participation inherent to the university campus experience, as a way of determining a more integral role for leisure in the broader vision of the university as an educational institution in the public sphere (Mobley, 1980). 40 years on and as a topic of research, as a subject matter to be taught, or as an aspect of service provision, leisure continues to escape the purview of an integrative framework for understanding its complex relationship to the modern university. This Special Issue brings back to the surface some of the debates about Leisure and the University. The aim is to explore international perspectives relevant to unpacking and understanding the complexities of modern leisure and its multi-dimensional relationship with universities and the university experience along the key intersections of education, health, and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Leisure
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2023


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