Transformations and transgressions: explorations of 'restricted' leisure during COVID-19

Briony Sharp, Rebecca Finkel, Katherine Dashper

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


It is hard to overstate the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on human societies around the world, even if, as we write this introduction in early 2024, the strangeness and uncertainty of the early stages of the pandemic are fading from public consciousness. During the peak of the pandemic, all aspects of day-to-life were affected, as people feared for their lives and those of their loved ones and communities. Many parts of the world went into ‘lockdown’, and social interactions were severely constrained. In this strange new world, leisure also took on different meanings, forms, and importance (see Sharp et al. Citation2022). Once taken-for-granted leisure activities, especially those in public spaces and involving other people, became impossible and often forbidden. Yet, at the same time, the importance of leisure to our well-being and relationships became ever-more apparent. As is often the case, it is only when something is taken away or threatened that we realize its value. Although the pandemic severely constrained leisure opportunities and practices, leisure took on extra importance in our uncertain and often isolated lives. Leisure was reimagined, transformed, altered, reshaped, and renegotiated under these unprecedented circumstances, and the aim of this special issue is to capture some of those transformations and the resilience of people and their leisure lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Issue number1
Early online date6 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Feb 2024


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