Fourth Wave Feminism: Possibilities for Leisure Studies

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Diana PARRY, University of Waterloo, Canada
Since its inception, leisure studies has faced a number of discussions and challenges posed by the use of various research methodologies to further our understanding of the complex phenomena called leisure. One perspective that has made significant contributions to this line of discussion over the years has been the voice of feminist scholars. Indeed, feminist scholarship has been a key contributor to the development of leisure studies, highlighting androcentric biases, correcting omissions/oversights through a gender lens, providing important directions for future research, noting the gendered nature of leisure experiences, and encouraging epistemological and methodological exploration (Parry & Johnson, 2015). Feminist critiques and contributions have influenced leisure studies for over three decades with feminism(s) evolving to reflect various theoretical perspectives, issues, and forms of social activism (Parry & Johnson, 2017). In this way, the various ‘waves’ or stages of feminism reflect the changing political landscape within and beyond leisure studies.

To understand the history and future of feminism(s) in the field, my presentation will trace the evolution of feminist scholarship within leisure studies with a focus on insights learned along the way. I will conclude by exploring contemporary debates through the lens of fourth ‘wave’ feminism, which takes up the micropolitics of the third wave and combines it with an agenda of political, social, and economic change similar to the second-wave (Maclaran, 2015). Although emergent and dynamic, the fourth wave is characterized by the use of technology to mobilize an immediate online and in-person response to sexism (Chamberlain, 2016). My presentation will explore the implications of fourth wave feminism- topically, theoretically, substantively, and methodologically – to leisure studies (Parry & Johnson, 2017).