Deviant Leisure: A Critical Criminological Perspective for the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Raymen, Oliver Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
198 Downloads (Pure)


This article argues that the time has arrived for leisure and consumerism to become key objects of study for a twenty-first century critical criminology. As global capitalism struggles to sustain itself, it is creating myriad crises in areas such as climate change, mental health, personal debt, and unemployment. Using a zemiological lens, we argue that it is on the field of commodified leisure and consumerism that criminologists can see these meta-crises of liberal capitalism unfold. Therefore, this article positions the burgeoning deviant leisure perspective as a new and distinct form of twenty-first critical criminology—one that departs from traditional criminological approaches to leisure rooted in the sociology of deviance in favor of critical criminology’s recent zemiological turn to social harm. In doing so, this article outlines how the deviant leisure perspective’s emergence at the intersection of zemiology, green criminology and ultra-realist criminological theory enables it to address some of the realities of our times, as well as how the deviant leisure perspective can help explain the normalized harms that emanate from the relationship between commodified leisure and consumer capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-130
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number1
Early online date20 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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