Relating to reptiles: an autoethnographic account of animal–leisure relationships

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Markwell, K 2019, 'Relating to reptiles: an autoethnographic account of animal–leisure relationships', Leisure Studies, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 341-352.

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In this paper, I explore my life-long interest in amateur herpetology using an autoethnographic methodology and, in doing so, reveal the varied intersections of animals, leisure, place and identity within my own life experience. Informed by serious leisure theory and Stebbins’ concept of the ‘leisure career’, I reflect on aspects of my life-history from childhood and adolescence through to the present day as a 56-year-old Anglo-Australian male, teasing out the diversity of ways that the leisure practices relating to my interest in this specific group of animals have been enabled and supported, spatially, structurally and socially. This analysis examines the intellectual, emotional and embodied ways that I have encountered and experienced reptiles across time and space, facilitated in the first instance by a supportive family which, in various ways, encouraged my entry into amateur herpetology.

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