Does leisure time have to be organized? The potential of leisure organizations in planning and non-planning


  • Anne-Lene Sand



Youth, leisure, organization, street sports, semi-organized leisure


There has been a long tradition for establishing leisure space for young people
in Denmark, though generally structured by adults. However, in recent years, alternative forms of establishing leisure space have begun to emerge. Using ethnographic fieldwork, this article explores the phenomenon of semi-organized street
sports. It examines how young people not only want to practice an alternative
sport, such as skateboarding or climbing, but also that they wish to organize it
themselves. The article shows how semi-organized street sports depend on institutional logics, which in many ways is different from established leisure organizations in Denmark. Semi-organized leisure spaces are sensitive to street sports
practices that arise in situ, where young people can help define the form of participation, for instance, by exploring and playing with urban, material and social
potentials. Young people are interested in dialogues with external parties such as
municipalities, foundations and other stakeholders, but seek cooperation only if
it does not compromise the institutional logics under which they organize. The
article discusses the potentials and challenges for leisure, both planned and unplanned, and raises questions that concern criteria for cooperation between semiorganized street sports and societal institutions, municipalities, and foundations.


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