Leisure in 21st century later life: Working with the Mass Observation Project

Tania Wiseman, Andrew Church, Neil Ravenscroft

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


New ageing populations are emerging in the UK, people are surviving into later life in greater numbers than ever before and many of those people are healthy (ONS 2014), which is a new phenomenon. This research considers theory and research from subjects that often consider later life to be problematic, but reads them from a more optimistic perspective. Leisure research and theory, gerontology, sociology, public health, epidemiology, and UK office for National Statistics reports all contribute to creating a new perspective on later life.
The stories about leisure in late life presented in this research were constructed through immersion in the contributions of individual Mass Observation Archive correspondents writing about everyday life from 2000-2016. Current and remembered stories about everyday life are woven together using direct quotes to create stories that illustrate everyday leisure in 21st century late life in the UK. Creative non-fiction is an important narrative form which is used in leisure studies research and aims to present qualitative findings in an engaging and emotive way.
Finding a comfortable lifestyle is an art, and taking the lead from those that have gone before is not possible for this ‘new’ cohort. So looking to the side, at peers to find out about later lives in the 21st century is one way of imagining this new phase of life. With varied stories of later life for inspiration we can begin to imagine our own later life stories.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2017
EventMass Observation 80th Anniversary Conference - University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jul 201711 Jul 2017


ConferenceMass Observation 80th Anniversary Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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