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Exploring the Meaning and Experiences of Recreation for Young People and Parents Living with Lower Incomes Open Access


Other title
Lower incomes
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kingsley, Bethan C
Supervisor and department
Spencer-Cavaliere, Nancy (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Davidson, Judy (Physical Education and Recreation)
Chapman, Sherry Ann (Adjunct, Faculty of Extension)
Halas, Joannie (Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management)
Mayan, Maria (Faculty of Extension)
Raine, Kim (Public Health)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The purpose of the research was to explore the meaning and experiences of recreation for young people and parents who live with lower incomes in a predominantly affluent community. I responded to the research purpose by speaking with ten youth (aged 13-18 years) and six parents living with lower incomes in a primarily affluent county (population 92,000) on the edge of a mid-sized city in Western Canada. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews and writing practices that additionally informed the analytic process. Three papers are presented in the dissertation to show the varied meaning and experiences of sport for young people and parents living with lower incomes. The first paper highlights how young people’s ways of being were shaped by their material and familial circumstances, impacting their participation in and relationship to sport. The second paper draws attention to the exclusionary practices of sport that are rationalized through demands for narrow forms of ‘ability’. The final paper shifts attention to the parents’ experiences of supporting the recreation involvement of their children while living with lower incomes.The study represents an exploration of the ways class relations are (re)produced in and through recreation to fill a prominent gap in the current academic literature. The three papers collectively show the similar and divergent ways the study participants subjectively experienced recreation in relation to their lower incomes. In particular, the dissertation highlights crucial areas of change to expand the ways recreation is currently provided so that it can be meaningful for more youth. The dissertation is particularly relevant for academics, practitioners and policy-makers who are interested in challenging the narrow and exclusionary ways recreation is often provided.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Kingsley, B. C., & Spencer-Cavaliere, N., “The Exclusionary Practices of Youth Sport”, Social Inclusion, 3(3), 24-38.

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