OcioGune. Forum for Research, Thought and Reflection
on the Leisure Phenomenon (14 and 15 June)
INSTITUTE OF LEISURE STUDIES University of Deusto (Bilbao)
The Santander Group Chair in Leisure and Knowledge of the Institute of Leisure Studies at the University of Deusto will be holding the seventh OcioGune forum this year, which will be entitled, The Transformed[ing] Leisure. New Meanings and Trends in Leisure in Times of Crisis. OcioGune is aimed at researchers, experts and professionals in the field of leisure who are interested in sharing knowledge and experience in their areas of expertise. It seeks to promote a plural view of the leisure phenomenon by integrating the areas in which it takes place (culture, tourism, sport, recreation) as well as the wide variety of experiences of the different groups and contexts.
The current economic crisis and its impact on a Welfare State that seemed unbeatable a few years ago have made leisure one of the most affected fields. Leisure industries are clearly affected by the current state of the market economy although the sectors and subsectors of culture, tourism, sport and recreation are being affected very differently. The large number of business, initiatives and projects that arose a few decades ago with the unstoppable rise of leisure as a socioeconomic driving force are undergoing new survival guidelines that are not necessarily related to quality. Citizens’ leisure patterns are replaced in a scenario of difficulties that require new discourses focused on leisure policies, management and intervention models and new attitudes and initiatives according to demand.
We are aware that the current economic situation may also reflect other deeper crises and fully convinced that every crisis, in its various forms, can be addressed in terms of political, social, educational and professional opportunities. Therefore, Leisure Studies, through its OcioGune Forum 2012, gives you the opportunity to rethink leisure, in an attempt to adapt and become aware of the current situation. However, the changes that are envisaged in the coming years both regarding supply (leisure policies, management, education) and demand (through citizens’ leisure patterns) should not be mere attempts towards a less opulent leisure but an opportunity to promote deeper changes associated with the emergence of new parameters that highlight the contribution of leisure to human development. These new parameters are closely related to the deconstruction processes of the prevailing image of leisure associated with those attributes welcomed by leisure when it removes the additional and unnecessary frills. The new scenario that has arisen with the crisis has ultimately become the breeding ground needed to reinvent leisure, the role played by citizens regarding leisure, participatory, creation and recreation processes.
OcioGune 2012 focuses on the leisure-economic crisis pairing to take an interdisciplinary approach to the effects of this crisis on leisure, its fields (culture, tourism, recreation) and stakeholders (public institutions, companies, third sector, citizens…). But it also seeks to address the problem by combining a good deal of realism and the optimism needed to move towards more sustainable patterns of leisure and life-style. This year, three ideas forums will be held:
Ideas Forum I. Citizenship
How is the crisis affecting citizens’ leisure patterns today? Are they changing their leisure habits and patterns? How? Are these changes reflected in their hierarchy of values? What are the new trends?
Ideas Forum II. Leisure industries
What are the consequences of the crisis in the fields of culture, tourism and sport? What steps are being taking by companies? Are these changes affecting leisure activities? How? Is the crisis a screen for quality and a means to strengthen large groups or monopolies?
Ideas Forum III. Leisure Policies
Which is the current situation in the public sector? What steps are being taken? Can these measures jeopardize the right to leisure of some groups? What solutions are considered appropriate?