Leisure experience of migrants: shaping free time, shaping identities

Anna Horolets (University of Warsaw)
Aleksandra Galasinska (University of Wolverhampton)
Tower A, Piso 1, Room 104
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Leisure activities bring sense to migrants' lives. The materiality of migrants' leisure, its emotional dimension, and spatial and temporal framework; cultural narratives of migrants' leisure; memory and imagination, expert knowledge and social networks in migrants' leisure are to be considered.

Long abstract:

Migrants are frequently perceived through the conceptual lens of their migratory mobility and work-related activities. We would like to draw attention to another important dimension of migrants' lives: their leisure activities. Leisure activities are contemporarily the domain of intensive identity work (cf. Rojek 2009). On the one hand, the increasing lack of control over work results in the search for meaning and control over one's life in non-work-related activities. On the other hand, the professionalization of many dimensions of life results in the perceived need to be a ‘specialist’ even in domains where previously the concepts of expert knowledge were inapplicable (e.g. child care, pet care etc). Leisure (e.g. leisure travel, gastronomy and other forms of consumption, hobbies, socializing etc) becomes crucial for the ways in which migrants render their changing worlds meaningful. It might also be the sphere in which they can build a sense of being in control of their lives. We would like to address such issues as materiality of leisure experience; the emotional dimension of leisure experience; the spatial and temporal framework of migrants' leisure activities; the role of cultural narratives of sending and receiving societies in migrants’ choices of leisure activities; the role of memory and imagination in selecting the activities; the role of social networks in the choice of leisure activities; the conceptualizations of the collisions between work and leisure; the ways of narrating and sharing leisure experience; and the role and sources of expert knowledge in leisure activities.