Posts By / jchoe

BU-Community Partnership Workshop (Refugee & Migrant Leisure Network)

Dr. Jaeyeon Choe, Dr. Varuni Wimalasiri, Dr. Nicola De Martini Ugolottiand, and Dr. Jayne Caudwell in Faculty of Management organised the Refugee and Migrant Leisure Network workshop on December 5th with community partners including Dorset Race Equality Council and Unity in Vision.

During the two-hour workshop, we discussed how to support refugee and migrant communities in Dorset including ‘vocation’ and language learning. We also discussed other mechanisms that help their re-settlement and integration such as cooking workshops, community events, music and art, all which might provide a broader scope of support such as social and emotional/psychological well-being.

We agreed that we need to listen to refugee and migrant ‘voices’ for their settlement, integration, meaning making and well-being in order to develop supportive programmes. It’s often seen that existing programmes don’t meet what refugee and migrant populations actually need. There is an urgent need to listen to their problems, challenges, so as to develop effective support programmes.

We also discussed ‘qualitative’ data that community organisations often collect including stories, lived experiences and anecdotes do not communicate well with policy makers. What will be an effective strategy to convert the ‘messy’ data (from community events, sport, music, and art) into policy making? This is a challenge for both community organisations and researchers.

Our community partners also shared that they are facing new challenges (ie funding). All councils and community organisations face difficulties in developing, managing and ‘sustaining’ support systems for refugee and migrant populations. Whilst discussing the role of a local university when supporting refugee and migrant issues, securing some funding can be one area to work on for both researchers and community groups. For example, Dr. Jaeyeon Choe recently applied for a grant with two of the community partners to support their activities as well as her own research. The proposal focuses on Syrian refugee resettlement, belonging, subjective well-being and community ‘food’ events in rural UK. We are also looking into larger/future collaborative funding opportunities together.

For BU academics, it was very fruitful to listen to and learn from community workers about refugee and migrant issues in Dorset and beyond. Besides the productive discussions, it was inspiring to see people who are passionate about supporting and working hard for refugee and migrant communities!

If you are interested in our network, please follow us:

The Refugee & Migrant Leisure Network (RMLN) December Meeting

Prof Janet Dickinson, Associate Prof Jayne Caudwell, and Dr Jaeyeon Choe (Centre for Events, Leisure, Society and Culture) have established a network called ‘The Refugee & Migrant Leisure Network (RMLN)’. They had the most recent meeting with partners on the 8th of December at Bournemouth University.

During the meeting, stakeholders from Dorset Race Equality Council, Unity in Vision, International Care Network, Red Cross and STAR joined academics to discuss current projects and issues. BU academics updated the network on current research related to multicultural lunches in Dorset, work with forced migrants in Bristol and future plans. Stakeholders suggested future research agendas, which focused on best practice for looking after unaccompanied asylum seeker children and supporting people into appropriate work aligned to existing skills.

The network has been providing a great opportunity to (re)build partnerships and update each other of current events, issues and programmes around refugee and migrant leisure spaces, migration, integration, wellbeing and mental health whilst working towards creating social integration and sense of belonging and community. The next meeting will be in Spring 2018.

More information about this group and related research project:

Follow us on Facebook: ‘Refugee and Migrant Leisure Network (RMLN)’

Belonging in a post-Brexit-vote Britain (British Sociological Association) conference

BU academic presented at ‘Belonging in a post-Brexit-vote Britain: researching race, ethnicity and migration in a changing landscape’ conference at the University of Sheffield (co-organised by the British Sociological Association and the Migration Research Group)

I presented an on-going project, Migrant and Refugee Leisure Spaces and Community Well-being at ‘Belonging in a post-Brexit-vote Britain: researching race, ethnicity and migration in a changing landscape’ conference at the University of Sheffield in May. A report of the conference can be found here:

[Dr. Jaeyeon Choe, Senior Academic presenting at Sheffield]

The ‘Migrant and Refugee Leisure Spaces and Community Well-being’ presentation got much interest from the audience, who were primarily sociologists. Discussions flowed around “how” leisure spaces and practices can help migrants integrate into communities and enhance their well-being, and how migrants define social inclusion, integration and well-being differently from scholarly (often middle class and ‘white’) definitions. Other discussions surrounded how some cultures have segregated and have ‘invisible’ leisure spaces whilst others prefer generic space to gather.

Prof. Louise Ryan in Sociology at University of Sheffield emphasised that we need to develop comparative lenses and more holistic and international perspectives from different scales. We need to talk across fields and disciplines to move forward to understand migrants’ lives, well-being and integration.
“The impact of the referendum, means that researchers on intra-EU migration, those working on refugee studies and on ‘race’ and ethnic studies, need to come together to share insights and collaborate to develop new analytical frameworks to understanding the evolving implications of Brexit.”

The tourism and leisure field has much to offer and contribute in the exploration of migrant lives and their integration in the UK. Existing research suggests that leisure spaces provide migrants with opportunities for developing, expressing and negotiating their personal, social and cultural preferences safely whilst gaining recognition and a sense of belonging. This is especially important as they may confront issues relating to belongingness, societal membership, social status, self-perception and cultural confusion. Leisure can be instrumental to (re)establishing connections and networks with locals as well as other migrants and refugees, and provide spaces for problem solving. Leisure opportunities and spaces support the development of cultural capital to allow migrants to feel safe enough to contemplate building a productive life. Thus, leisure spaces can play an important role in integration. The role of leisure in integration also reflects the receiving community feeling unthreatened by migration.

I also participated in an Early Career Researcher Mentoring session with Prof. Louise Ryan during the conference. I found the session very useful as I received advice on research, publishing and networking in the migration studies field and beyond. Prof. Ryan also shared helpful insights and advice on career development strategies in the UK, especially for migrant young female researchers with similar profiles to me. This was an unusual programme during an academic conference that can be widely utilised by other conference and workshop organizers. I found the session extremely helpful in aiding my understanding of the academic culture in the UK and how to adapt to it as a young researcher from a migrant background.

Another interesting feature of the conference was a photographer as a keynote speaker. Jeremy Abrahams (theatre & portrait photographer) shared powerful visual work of the impact of Brexit entitled, ‘Remain/Leave’.

A keynote by Dr. Jon Fox at University of Bristol emphasised ‘Everyday Racism’ and how it has increased after the EU Referendum. He discussed pathological integration: East Europeans, racism & becoming British.

Finally, fellow conference delegates took photos of my presentation and posted them with useful comments/questions on the conference twitter page. After I mentioned a Bourenmouth University migrant well-being project twitter account, 10 immediately followed us, and had led to interesting and useful connections with fellow researchers with similar interests. 🙂 It was not only productive in getting feedback and comments on our on-going research project, but also great to meet migrant studies researchers to network.

For more information about our migrant and refugee leisure spaces and community
well-being project, please follow the Facebook Group: ‘Migrant Leisure Spaces’, Twitter: @migrantspaces and the project web page:

Festival of Learning 2017: ‘Migrant and Refugee Leisure and Well-being’ & ‘Shahre Farang: Memories made real’

Festival of Learning: Migrant and refugee leisure and wellbeing

On Saturday 8th July, as part of the Festival of Learning 2017, we invite you to join a socially-engaged art event entitled: ‘Shahre Farang: Memories made real’ organised by our community partner b-side (local art organisation). An interactive discussion session accompanies this art event, this discussion will explore ‘Migrant and refugee leisure and wellbeing’.

Both events encourage audience members to think about the places, spaces and people they can no longer visit.

Migrant and refugee leisure and wellbeing:

Existing academic research indicates that leisure activities and spaces can be positive experiences for groups and individuals who feel marginalised in society. Research findings show that migrant and refugee groups value a range of leisure, including sport, arts, culture and heritage. To date, we know very little about leisure behaviours of migrant and refugee groups living in Dorset. We will discuss these aspects more fully in this one-hour interactive session. Individuals, community groups and charities, and schools and colleges are invited to attend and contribute to this BU research project on leisure and migrant and refugee wellbeing.

Date: Saturday 8 July
Time: 11am – 12pm
Location: Talbot Campus

For more information:

Shahre Farang: Memories made real:

“If you could never return home, what would you do and where would you go if you were granted just one minute to be there?”

Iranian photographer Farhad Berahman presents the memories of 20 Iranian asylum seekers who are unable to return home. Look into the beautiful Shahre Farang (an Iranian peepbox used by wandering storytellers) and see their memories made real. Meet the artist and join in with discussion and activities led by Counterpoint Arts.

Date: Saturday 8 July
Time: 11am – 4pm
Location: Talbot Campus

For more information:

We look forward to welcoming you and interacting with you at our events!

CFP RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2017: Migrant Leisure Spaces and Community Wellbeing

RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2017: Decolonising geographical knowledges: opening geography out to the world

London, 29th August -1st September 2017

Session sponsor: Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG)

Call For Papers: Migrant Leisure Spaces and Community Wellbeing

Session Convenor(s):

Jaeyeon Choe (Bournemouth University, UK)

Janet Dickinson (Bournemouth University, UK)

Leisure spaces provide migrants opportunities for developing, expressing and negotiating their personal, social and cultural preferences safely whilst gaining recognition and a sense of belonging. This is especially important as they may confront issues relating to belongingness, societal membership, social status, self-perception and cultural confusion. Leisure can be instrumental to (re)establishing connections and networks with locals as well as other migrants and refugees, and provide spaces for problem solving. Migrants’ ‘going out’ and socialising not only acts as a refuge from the conditions of social isolation and boredom in which they often find themselves, but can also encourage cultural expression. Leisure opportunities and spaces support the development of cultural capital that allows new migrants to feel safe to contemplate building a productive life. Thus, leisure spaces can play an important role in place-making and integration. The role of leisure in integration also reflects the receiving community feeling unthreatened by migration. Thus, it will be fruitful to investigate how leisure spaces (private, public and digital) help develop migrants’ personal and social inclusion and enhance their wellbeing.

We welcome papers related to theoretical and/or empirical aspects of migrant and refugee leisure spaces, community wellbeing, leisure constraints and negotiation strategies, especially problematising (im)mobilities, ethics, morals and (in)justice. Abstracts may focus on (but are not limited to) the following themes:

– Private, public and digital leisure spaces
– Migrant community wellbeing
– Leisure spaces as cultural expression
– Space for social inclusion and/or integration
– Construction of communitas through leisure
– Law/legal geographies and leisure
– Migration, ‘illegality’ and rights
– Tourism mobilities and border crossings
– (Im)mobilities, ethics, morals and (in)justice
– Human security, transnationalization and citizenship
– Leisure and citizenship formation
– Art, aesthetics, border struggles
– Leisure opportunities and migrant communities
– Assimilation and leisure constraints
– Influence of religion on migrant leisure
– Borders, spatial socialization and subjectification
– Social networks, borders and the allure of territory

Mata-Codesal, D., Peperkamp, E., & Tiesler, N. C. (2015). Migration, migrants and leisure: meaningful leisure? Leisure Studies, 34(1), 1 – 4.
Spracklen, K., Long, J., & Hylton, K. (2015). Leisure opportunities and new migrant communities: challenging the contribution of sport. Leisure Studies, 34(1), 114-129.
Stack, J., & Iwasaki, Y. (2009). The role of leisure pursuits in adaptation processes among Afghan refugees who have immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada. Leisure Studies, 28(3), 239-259.

Please submit abstracts to Jaeyeon Choe ( by 30th January 2017.
Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and include your contact details.

Please see the following link for more details on the conference and registration details.

CFP: Special Issue on Gender and Mobility in Tourism

Call for Papers: Tourism Review
Special Issue on Gender and Mobility in Tourism

Guest Editors:
Jaeyeon Choe, PhD
Centre for Events, Leisure, Society & Culture, Faculty of Management
Bournemouth University, UK

Cristopher Livecchi, PhD
Department of Geography
State University of New York, USA

Gender in/and tourism have been gaining an increasing attention from tourism scholars since the 1990s (e.g., Aitchison, 2005; Figueroa-Domecq et al., 2015; Ferguson, 2011; Ireland, 1993; Pritchard & Morgan, 2000; Munar et al., 2015; Swain, 1995). Despite growing interest and published works, the nexus of tourism and gender has not been thoroughly explored by researchers. Gender and tourism literature is fragmented, with a lack of communication and collaboration across disciplines even though there are overlapping topic areas and discussions. There has not been enough interdisciplinary research work carried out, leading to fragmented literature reviews, theorization processes and methods. Thus, the primary aim of this special issue is to thoroughly review the theories, theorization processes and methods/methodology of gender studies in tourism, by encouraging the incorporation of LGBT, queer studies and ‘White’ feminism concepts and theories.

Secondly, we are interested in exploring how migration and mobility in a globalising world have affected gender issues in relation to tourism, and implications of practices, politics and meanings of mobility for women (Porter, 2011). Migration theory had begun to include feminist theory in the early 1990s (Chant ,1992), and has provided insights into the connections and the mutually constitutive relationship between the construction of masculinities and masculinist ideologies; and migration, (im)mobilities and transnationalism and gender issues. As scholars interested in migration and mobilities work collaboratively and transnationally across different worlds (Yeoh & Ramdas, 2014), papers that address how migration and gender issues influence tourism research and practices are welcome. We also welcome papers that incorporate action research, as well as papers that develop future research directions.

In summary, this special issue, we seek papers related to issues about (im)mobilities, migration, LGBTQ, ‘White’ feminism, action research, social sustainability and the cultural geography of gender and tourism. We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines including anthropology, geography, sociology, psychology, cultural studies, leisure studies, tourism studies and education. We invite you to submit papers on topics that include (but are not limited to):

– Migration and gender (in)equality
– Gender politics, migration and (im)mobilities
– Action research in gender and tourism
– Research methods development
– LGBT/queer studies in tourism field
– ‘White’ feminism/ ‘White’ masculinity
– Cultural geography of gender and tourism
– Social sustainability and gender issues
– Gender and the Sharing Economy
– “Dangerous women” in tourism
– Implications of practices, politics and meanings of mobility for women
– Gender, migration and (im)moralities in developing worlds
– Brexit and its potential impact on immigrant women communities

Each article should be approximately 3000-5500 words long.
Submission Deadlines:

· 500 words abstract due: 20 December 2016
· Full paper due: 20 February 2017

Please send your abstracts/papers to Jaeyeon Choe, PhD (

Migration research conference: Borderless Worlds in Finland

Migration Research Conference: Borderless worlds – for whom?

University of Oulu, Finland

I recently attended a migration research conference, “Borderless Worlds- for whom? Ethics, moralities and (in)justice in migration and tourism” organized by the RELATE Centre of Excellence/Academy of Finland & University of Oulu. This was an interdisciplinary conference with leading border and migrant scholars, human geographers, anthropologists and tourism scholars. They also invited journalists, activists, activist researchers and migrants themselves as part of panel sessions. Interestingly, the panel sessions were held at at a local library (Oulu City Library) while being open to local people, which lead to perspectives ‘beyond academia’ (speaking of ‘borderless’!). Through the two day conference, we were exposed to the complexity of the terrain and to pay much-needed attention to the ethics, moralities and (in)justices in border struggles, migration and tourism mobilities. Instead of taking territorial or relational views as normative givens, we came to consider how the simultaneous ‘geographies’ of bounded and open, networked spaces are realised in the contemporary world.

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In the State and the Governance of Mobilities session, I presented a paper on tourism development and Filipino migrant workers’ community in Macau (co-authored with Dr. Michael O’ Regan at BU). We discussed how rapid tourism development in Macau attracts high populations of Filipino migrant workers, and how Filipino migrants perceive their quality of life and constraints while working and living in Macau. Most of the migrant workers left family in the Philippines and support them financially, and I showed this was the biggest issue for their happiness and life satisfaction. Another interesting issue was the sense of community. Filipino migrants expressed that it is not only difficult to integrate into the Macau society, but also hard to have their own Filipino community due to multiple complex reasons. We concluded that the government should consider the migrant workers’ subjective quality of life, and introduce new policies to support the migrant workers, and create a livable place for everyone.

Migration research in tourism and leisure has gained more attention, and I am very interested in developing more research projects around ‘migration’ issues starting with the current working paper.

Jaeyeon Choe

Department of Events & Leisure

Faculty of Management