Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference 29 Aug – 1 Sep 2017

At this conference, there will be a session entitled Migrant Leisure Spaces and Community Wellbeing, organised by Professor Janet Dickinson and chaired by Dr Jaeyeon Choe, from the Dept. of Events and Leisure, Faculty of Management.

Session Sponsor: Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG)

Session Abstract: Leisure spaces provide migrants opportunities for developing, expressing and negotiating their personal, social and cultural preferences safely whilst gaining recognition and a sense of belonging. This is especially important as they may confront issues relating to belongingness, societal membership, social status, self-perception and cultural confusion. Leisure can be instrumental to (re)establishing connections and networks with locals as well as other migrants and refugees, and provide spaces for problem solving. Migrants’ ‘going out’ and socialising not only acts as a refuge from the conditions of social isolation and boredom in which they often find themselves, but can also encourage cultural expression. Leisure opportunities and spaces support the development of cultural capital that allows new migrants to feel safe to contemplate building a productive life. Thus, leisure spaces can play an important role in place-making and integration. The role of leisure in integration also reflects the receiving community feeling unthreatened by migration. Thus, it will be fruitful to investigate how leisure spaces (private, public and digital) help develop migrants’ personal and social inclusion and enhance their wellbeing.