New Right Conservatism and the Scottish leisure profession : a critical analysis 1979-97
The nature of the leisure profession and the leisure professional has been recharacterised by a series of government policies first implemented by the Conservative government during the period 1979-97. Whilst the re-characterisation has been acknowledged by leisure professional bodies and also in an emerging body of literature, no systematic analysis of this process has been undertaken in the Scottish context. This thesis addresses this through an ideological analysis of New Right Conservatism and the impact of New Right policies in Scotland and on the Scottish Leisure profession. Scottish political and cultural traditions together with the notion of credentialism provide original dimensions to this critical analysis. Using a multimethodological research approach, this thesis examines the link between New Right government policies and the Scottish leisure profession. It establishes whether or not the process of professionalisation is a coherent one that will underpin a collective legitimacy for the Scottish leisure profession. It is concluded that the New Right undermined the professionalisation of leisure management in Scotland. Leisure management has been restructured and generalised and the resulting professional anticollectivism within the industry has left the standing of the profession in doubt. This original theoretically and empirically informed study of the leisure profession in Scotland makes a small contribution to the growing body of work on professionalism and professionalisation.