Ethical Principles Associated with Inclusive Leisure Services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Raising consciousness about the ethics of inclusive leisure services is a way to help leisure service providers act ethically. Identification of ethical principles for supporting inclusive leisure services is intended to increase practitioner awareness and subsequent actions across public, nonprofit, and private contexts. Despite the multiple dangers of unethical applications of various activities associated with leisure, few professional papers have analyzed ethical issues pertaining to leisure. Consequently, leisure service participants and professionals need help identifying principles to address ethical situations. This paper proposes twelve ethical principles for inclusive leisure practices and policies that cluster into three categories: universal, that apply to all human beings, social that pertain to modern society, and professional that focus on leisure service providers. We propose five universal ethical principles for promoting inclusive leisure. One such ethical principle establishes that leisure is a primary good. A second is a respect for human dignity by acknowledging and facilitating the freedom to pursue one’s view of the good life. A third is that social justice requires individuals to access basic goods and services to realize valued lives. Everyone has the right to self-determination is a fourth principle. The fifth universal principle is that power is pervasive. The next set of ethical principles is specific to modern pluralistic societies. These principles include intersecting identities being commonplace, continuums unavoidable, inclusion good, and diversity enriching. The final set of ethical principles relates to leisure service providers. These principles include that people: identify responsibilities arising from their social positions, base inclusive leisure services on social justice, and consider perspectives different from their own. In conclusion, we address practical implications for each of the principles to assist practitioners in creating conditions conducive to providing ethical leisure services. Also, to evaluate leisure services, practitioners determine people’s perceptions of their participation to help assess if participants experienced leisure or encountered barriers that prevented them from doing so. A contribution of this paper is to encourage moral behaviors guided by ethical principles that facilitate the provision of inclusive leisure services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-61
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Park and Recreation Administration
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 19 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this