This book brings together a collection of critical essays that challenge the existing dogma of leisure as an unmitigated social good, in order to examine the commodification and marketisation of leisure across a number of key sites. Leisure and consumer culture have become symbolic of the individual freedoms of liberal society, ostensibly presenting individuals with the opportunity to display individual creativity, cultural competence and taste. This book problematizes these assertions, and considers the range of harms that emerge in a consumer society predicated upon intense individualism and symbolic competition.
Approaching the field of commodified leisure through the lens of social harm, this collection of essays pushes far beyond criminology’s traditional interest in ‘deviant’ forms of leisure, to consider the normalized social, interpersonal and environmental harms that emerge at the intersection of leisure and consumer capitalism. Capturing the current vitality and interdisciplinary scope of recent work which is underpinned by the deviant leisure perspective, this collection uses case studies, original research and other forms of empirical enquiry to scrutinise activities that range from alcohol consumption and gambling, to charity tourism; CrossFit training; and cosmetic pharmaceuticals. Drawn from researchers across the UK, US, Europe and Australia, Deviant Leisure: Criminological Perspectives on Leisure and Harm represents the first systematic attempt at a criminological consideration of the global harms of the leisure industry; firmly establishing leisure as a subject of serious criminological importance.