Rurality in Leisure Research: A Review of Four Major Journals Academic Article uri icon


  • Rurality maintains a significant position in the United States' culture and economic system. A key aspect to enhancing rural areas is appropriate research to inform policy and practice. The purpose of this paper was to systematically review leisure and recreation research and summarize how academics in this field conceptualize rural settings and issues. For our sample, we selected four major leisure journals in the U.S. given their leading roles as sources of research and knowledge. We identified 57 articles focusing on U.S. rurality and six topical themes. Findings suggested that future research in this area should consider the context of different rural settings, account for axiological orientations in approaches to rurality, and recognize the complexities and implications of rural measures.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Leisure Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Edwards, M. B., & Matarrita-Cascante, D.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Edwards, Michael B||Matarrita-Cascante, David

publication date

  • December 2011