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Title: Disciplining leisure : a Foucauldian analysis of outdoor adventure for young people at risk and young offenders
Author: Benstead, Katrina
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The rehabilitation of young offenders has been a persistent social dilemma to which many solutions have been proposed. One such approach has been to rehabilitate young offenders through the medium of outdoor activities, the utility of which as a means of personal development has long been recognised. In the early 1990's however some newspapers and politicians associated specialist criminal rehabilitative programmes with the generalised use of outdoor adventure as leisure, labelling such programmes as holidays, treats for young offenders and rewards for misbehaviour. This construction has undermined outdoor adventure programmes designed for rehabilitate purposes by generating public hostility and by shaking the confidence of their advocates. In addition to the practical effect of limiting its application, the construction of outdoor activity programmes as leisure has theoretical consequences. Leisure theorists have begun to challenge traditional concepts of leisure as a residential category which have situated this field as subsidiary to work and outside of those aspects of life which have been constructed as serious and important (work, education, politics, law etc.). This marginalisation of leisure has been challenged by work that examines its role as a site of meaning in life and as a field of social governance. Media and political representations which dismiss the utility of programmes because they are 'leisure' therefore ignore this theoretical move, contributing to, and reifying the traditional perspective by portraying leisure as frivolous and incapable of addressing important social issues. In the light of these problems this thesis proposes an alternative way of theorising outdoor activities, not as a form of leisure, but in a Foucauldian interpretation, as a form of discipline. This is important because as yet leisure and outdoor adventure theorists have made only limited use of Foucault's ideas. The portrayal of outdoor adventure as leisure is critiqued through a discourse analysis of brochure and newspaper representations. This reveals the ways in which leisure has been constructed as a frivolously response to a serious problem because it is perceived to embody fun, free-time and freedom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available