[Air-L] CfP Edited Collection: New Technologies and the Changing Landscapes of Leisure

Mariek Vanden Abeele Mariek.VandenAbeele at soc.kuleuven.be
Fri Sep 3 06:00:05 PDT 2010

New Technologies and the Changing Landscapes of Leisure - Call for Submissions for an Edited Collection

Jason Rutter & Mariek Vanden Abeele
School for Mass Communication Research, Catholic University of Leuven

Chapters exploring the use and impact of new technologies on leisure experiences are sought for a proposed book. Abstracts are requested by 15th October 2010 with a view to publication following successful review and publisher selection.

Technologies and platforms such as Facebook, computer games, streaming media and smartphones, augmented reality services and haptic sensors along with an always-on and ever-connected culture have significantly transformed the Western world spends its leisure time. New technologies have enabled people to amplify and extend well-established leisure practices such as chatting, gossiping, dating, playing games, gambling, watching films and sharing music. Technologies of leisure have allowed the building of new social networks around enthusiasms, supported the new ways to manage our non-work time and offered new options to package, consume and produce leisure experiences. 

Users now dip in and out of extended networks of friends and associates exploiting loose ties to talk about their leisure and share information. Even apparently non-technological activities such as holidaying, visiting restaurants and country walks have been changed by these new media technologies as users make decisions based upon consumer review sites, add meaning to their leisure by posting images of their activities on social networking platforms, and update their friends on their whereabouts through location-based networking services such as Foursquare. New technologies are playing an important role in managing existing leisure practices and local networks as mobile phones, instant messaging and sites such as MySpace and Facebook are used to plan nights out and other social events and to maintain contacts with real world friends and family. 

As such new technologies are increasingly central to planning, performing, sharing and understanding leisure as users flow between being consumers of leisure experiences and producers of their own cultural texts. Broadcast and publishing media have developed strategies to involve users in new forms of interaction with their media encouraging user involvement and framing engagement with branding and marketing strategies as a leisure activity.

However, as with all technologies and social processes, access and use is not universal: existing inequalities often remain apparent - even amplified - in technologically-mediated leisure. Users who cannot, or choose not to, adopt new leisure technologies are potentially excluded from this evolving leisure landscape.

This proposed collection will focus on people’s interaction with new technologies to manage, negotiate and facilitate their leisure. It will emphasise user practice, attitudes and experience and their changing place within developing social, technical and economic frameworks. It will look at how users have adopted, integrated and innovated with new technologies to facilitate both routine and extraordinary leisure.

As such, the editors welcome contributions to the collection that engage with the issues above to illustrate the profound social, cultural and innovative impacts that new technologies are having on leisure experience and practice. Authors are encouraged to propose high quality chapters that engage with any aspect of user experience and engagement with new technology and leisure practices including within the following topics:

Sociability and Community:
·         Managing identity and relationships through technology
·         Online dating, long distance relationships
·         Using technologies to manage leisure in time-poor lifestyles

New leisure forums:
·         Online virtual worlds, Second Life, massively multiplayer games
·         Documenting leisure experiences through reviews, photos and personal narratives
·         Consuming leisure brands via social networks & consumer engagement

Mobile leisure: 
·         Taking music, video, ebooks and software into the evolving mediascape
·         Location-based service and playing the city
·         Constructing leisure time and space – multi-tasking, managing and work-leisure tensions

Alternative and deviant leisure:
·         Cybercrime - Piracy, bullying, stalking and scams
·         Pornography and sexual cultures
·         Internet addiction, obsession and compulsion

Leisure constraints and entitlement: 
·         Experience at different life stages, media literacy and online protection
·         Access to leisure technologies for people with disabilities
·         Digital divides and experiences of leisure mediated through gender, race and economics

Submission of abstracts:

Abstracts should be about 750 words in length (excluding author details and references) and outline the key ideas, arguments and structure for the proposed chapter. They should indicate what data the work will use (where relevant) and the primary literature the completed text will draw upon. It should be clear in what way the chapter offers a new way of understanding the area or the manner in which the author(s) offers an innovative approach. The abstract should be preceded by a single sentence summarising the key ‘take home’ message of the chapter.

Finished chapters are expected to be in the region of 7000 words long including notes, references and tables.

Abstracts should be sent to Jason Rutter <Jason.Rutter at soc.kuleuven.be> and Mariek Vanden Abeele <Mariek.VandenAbeele at soc.kuleuven.be> by 15th October 2010.

Key Dates:

Deadline for abstracts:             15th October 2010
Editorial feedback on abstracts: 19th November 2010
Submissions of full chapters:     4th March 2011
Editorial feedback to authors:   29th April 2011
Deadline for revised chapters:  19th August 2011

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