Reading Landscapes: Articulating a non-essentialist representation of space, place and identity in leisure

Samuel Elkington, Sean Gammon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The decision to use the word landscape in the title of this volume was not taken lightly. It is, after all, a famously awkward term to pin down, and like place, space and location, has many interpretations and meanings. The primary reason it was chosen was that it illustrated the breadth and variety that particularly space and place play in our experiences of leisure. Of course the problem with taking this viewpoint is that many definitions of landscape imply that landscape can only be encountered from the outside and usually from a distance. But in order to gain some kind of perspective we need to step back and appreciate the complexity of the vista. In the same way that space and place can be understood and analysed from both subjective and objective stances — so too can landscape. Therefore, although the idea of landscape suggests distance, it also encourages reflection and exploration. ‘Landscape’ as Tuan so eloquently puts it, ‘allows and even encourages us to dream. It does function as a point of departure. Yet it can anchor our attention because it has components that we can see and touch’ (1977:101). Furthermore, we can travel through landscapes and encounter the many spaces and places they hold, whilst gazing back to the landscape from which we came. This interaction between leisure spaces and places and its consequent impact on identity acts as the primary focus of this text, but requires further discussion in order to reveal its many implications.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLandscapes of leisure
    Subtitle of host publicationSpace, Place and Identities
    EditorsSam Elkington, Sean Gammon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
    ISBN (Electronic)978-437-42853
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameLandscapes of Leisure. Leisure Studies in a Global Era
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


    Dive into the research topics of 'Reading Landscapes: Articulating a non-essentialist representation of space, place and identity in leisure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this