Reimagining young people’s leisure practices

  • Annaleise Depper

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis explores the ways in which young people from diverse backgrounds experience embodied mobility and leisure practices in low-income communities. Through a new materialist and post-humanist sensibility, this study re-thinks leisure in terms of the social practices that young people enact through discursive, affective and material relations. Specifically, this cocreated research engaged with young people’s affective stories of local places and active mobility in Swindon. This involved working with young people (aged ten to seventeen) through a process of co-creation to photograph, film, edit, narrate and publicly exhibit embodied accounts of their community. In moving beyond theory/ method divides, co-creation became a material means of mobilising change and (re)presenting research. Within a social change oriented ‘creative research assemblage’, the entanglement of theoretical ideas and creative practices worked to complicate ideas about young people’s agency, subjectivity and relations. Situated within new materialist debates, I think through some of the onto- ethico-epistemological assumptions that underpin the ‘doing’ of co-creation as an inventive practice. Layered with the multiple voices of parents, carers and professionals within health and children’s services, this thesis works to contest and challenge normative assumptions of physical (in)activity. In each chapter, I explore the more-than-human dimensions of leisure practices; turning to the relations, processes and flows to reorient policy thinking around young people’s (in)active lives. In doing so, I evoke the complexity of young people’s affective experiences (shame, fear, pleasure, belonging, etc) of leisure practices. This thesis calls for new ways of intervening in the complex power relations and entanglements of human and non-human that shape young people’s leisure practices.
Date of Award20 Nov 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSimone Fullagar (Supervisor), Emma Rich (Supervisor) & Jessica Francombe-Webb (Supervisor)

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