Women's leisure and auto/biography: empowerment and resistance in the garden

Jayne Raisborough, Mark Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This exploratory paper addresses prevailing conceptualisations of women's agency in leisure. It focuses on the reproduction/resistance framework characteristic of much feminist work. Realising the role of leisure in reproducing oppressive gender relations and the various ways that leisure can also resist them is vital to the continual politicisation of leisure, however we explore whether this framework can always adequately realise the complexities of women's lived relations to engendered power. We specifically focus on the conceptual relationship between empowerment and resistance. Using the illustration of one woman's auto/biography lodged with the Mass Observation Archive, we question whether women's empowerment is derived from a contextual repositioning to gendered norms and an agency which neither resists nor straightforwardly reproduces gender relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-476
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

© 2007 National Recreation and Park Association


  • Women's leisure
  • gardens
  • auto/biography
  • empowerment
  • resistance


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