Dr. Anderson's general philosophy of research embodies a research approach that uses critical analysis to engage in a greater understanding of specific sport, recreation and leisure phenomena while stimulating change through governance and policy mechanisms. This includes theory-based conceptual research to look at issues of leisure, diversity, and socialization from new perspectives, as well as more directly applied research that examines the way participants feel, participate, and engage in health-related recreational services and their everyday leisure experiences.
Lines of Research
Dr. Anderson's main/individual line of research focuses on issues of social justice and public policy concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in leisure and recreation, mainly through investigations of specific recreation and management settings. These issues include stigma and belonging in leisure spaces, with an emphasis on social justice-based goals for people who often find themselves marginalized due to prejudice, discrimination and/or lack of access. His broad topical interest areas include those related to marginalization surrounding sexuality, gender identification, race, class identification and the creation of leisure spaces and participation around these different aspects of identity. Through the use of various quantitative and qualitative methods, he is attempting to present, understand and promote issues and experiences that have often been overlooked or under-represented in existing sport, recreation and leisure research.
A secondary/collaborative line of research that he has been pursuing focuses around the provision of public aquatic spaces and their significance to communities in the promotion and practice of public health as well as other benefits. This ongoing research has included a multi-phase study investigating the role an aquatic facility may play in facilitating healthy activities in their participants involving the Theory of Planned Behavior, as well as a proposal for a state-wide inventory of the benefits and satisfaction levels of participants at municipal aquatic facilities in Indiana. A graphical representation of his research is found here.