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Lecture 12

Rec 100: Lecture 12 - The Darker Side of Leisure Complete Notes

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University of Waterloo
Recreation and Leisure Studies
REC 100
Diana Parry

Leisure’s Darker Side Recreation and Leisure Studies (100) What is Leisure’s Darker Side? Activities on the fringe of social acceptability Individuals engage in pastimes that society considers deviant Initially referred to as purple leisure Purple Leisure (Curtis, 1988) Implying “off colour” Defined as delinquent activities that bring pleasure to participants, but to society, they are destructive and negative uses of free time (if done in excess) A matter of degree (occasional drink versus alcoholic) Terminology Taboo leisure – those pursuits that involve activities that are typically illicit because they challenge societal norms, laws, customs, or belief systems (Russell, 2002) Other terms: Marginal, deviant, and problematic Issues with Terms Terms are morally ambiguous (Kelly & Freysinger, 2000) Who decides what is right and what is wrong? Where do we draw the line? In response to criticisms, terms such as “leisure’s other side,” “leisure’s darker side,” “abnormal leisure” or “questionable leisure” have emerged Why??? Explanations have been sought in attempts to reduce its incidence Two theoretical explanations (anomie and differential association) Anomie A feeling of disconnection from mainstream society Sense of disorientation, disequilibrium Lack of being governed by societal norms Not adhering to dominant cultural values Typically anomie can be traced to an imbalance between a goal and the means to attain it, resulting in frustration that leads to deviant activities or withdrawal Darker leisure activities may occur because of a need to escape the disconnection Youth violence - Columbine (feeling disconnected from school, peers, family, religious affiliation) Violent Crimes – Work place conflict (feeling disequilibrium due to financial loss) Differential Association Delinquent behaviour is learned through interaction with others in intimate personal groups Importance of social and friendship groups…if group is delinquent, deviant forms of leisure may be learned Four dimensions by which differential association varies (Lo, 2000) Young people are particularly affected by their associations with social groups The values/activities of the people with whom they most relate may differentiate whether or not their pastimes will be deviant To reduce socially unacceptable behaviour, emotional closeness with delinquent peers need to be minimized Three Forms of “Abnormal” Leisure (Rojek, 2005) 1. Invasive 2. Mephitic 3. Wild – Substance Abuse Most prevalent form of marginal leisure (Russell, 2002) Use of alcohol and drugs for recreation is not a new phenomenon; it has existed since ancient times Drugs and alcohol provide temporary escapes from everyday life, and this escape can be pleasant Euphemism for using drugs is “taking a trip” - enjoying a change of pace just as we do when we leave home Alcohol and drug use often begin in a leisure context Alcohol and drugs are combined with other recreational activities because they are believed to enhance fun…cocktails at parties, beer at baseball games, hallucinogens before concerts Their abuse can lead to insurmountable social and personal problems Pr
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