How do you know if you don’t try? Non-traditional research methodologies, novice researchers, and leisure studies

Mitchell McSweeney, Katie Faust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A variety of qualitative approaches–underlined by diverse postpositivist, postmodern, poststructuralist, and interdisciplinary perspectives–are employed by scholar’s in the field of leisure studies that influence the use of non-traditional qualitative methodologies. In this article, we discuss why novice researchers (such as graduate students or neophyte researchers) studying leisure contexts should engage in and build a legacy of utilizing non-traditional methodologies within their research. We provide a brief review of literature and an overview of our own experience conducting research utilizing (1) the methodological bricolage; and (2) autoethnography. We discuss our experiences of two novice researchers in the field of leisure who utilized non-traditional qualitative methodologies, and, building on contributions from scholars in the field of leisure who have advocated for a diversification and robust knowledge base, discuss and advocate for the use of non-traditional research approaches in leisure studies as something to be celebrated by inquiring, novice researchers. We conclude by suggesting that building a legacy of engaging in non-traditional methodologies by novice researchers offers potential to contribute to the dynamic and reflexive field of leisure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-364
Number of pages26
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Canadian Association for Leisure Studies / Association canadienne d’études en loisir.


  • autoethnography
  • methodological bricolage
  • non-traditional methodologies
  • novice researchers
  • Qualitative research


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