Leisure Studies is the critical study and analysis of leisure. Professor Spracklen's work on leisure uses history, philosophy and sociology to understand the meaning and purpose of leisure: how free leisure choices are, and how much modern leisure is a product of constraints. He has published seven key monographs on leisure theory: The Meaning and Purpose of Leisure (2009); Constructing Leisure: Historical and Philosophical Debates (2011); Whiteness and Leisure (2013); Digital Leisure (2015); Critical Event Studies (2016, with Ian Lamond); and The Evolution of Goth Culture (2018, with Beverley Spracklen). Professor Spracklen has published widely on leisure in journals such as Leisure Studies, Annals of Leisure Research, Leisure/Loisir and World Leisure Journal. He is interested in subcultures, identities, spaces and hegemonies of leisure - his research on tourism, folk music and morris, Goth, heavy metal and sport is all underpinned by a concern with the problem of leisure. His research is influenced by Habermas, Adorno, Gramsci, Bourdieu and Marx.
Professor Spracklen is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure.
Professor Spracklen was the Chair of the Leisure Studies Association from 2009 to 2013. He remains actively involved in the work of the Association. from 2014 Professor Spracklen has been the Vice-President then Secretary of Research Committee 13 (Sociology of Leisure) of the International Sociological Association.
Professor Spracklen is the joint editor (with Professor Karen Fox) of a book series for Palgrave Macmillan: Leisure Studies in a Global Era. He also co-edits a series called Alternativity and Marginalization for Emerald.
Professor Spracklen is also the author of a textbook on leisure, also published by Palgrave Macmillan: Leisure, Sports and Society (2013).