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REC 100-The Darker Side of Leisure.doc

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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 -Just on the fringe of being unacceptable  Initially referred to as purple leisure Purple Leisure (Curtis, 1988)  Implying “off colour” (leisure pursuits)  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) -not so much purple, but she wants to say they are illicit leisure  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? • It is hard to  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 • Addiction • Anomie (psychological) and Differential association(social)  Two theoretical explanations (anomie and differential association) and one leisure response 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 • if your friends are doing something, your more likely to do it too.  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) 1. Frequency-how often you are involved, the more often the more differential association is to take place. 2. Duration-how much time are you spending with this peer group 3. Priority-hoe much is this a priority in my life? 4. Intensity-how intense are your relationships with your peers  Young people are particularly affected by their associations with social groups more than other age 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 (e.i. moving schools/cities) Three Forms of “Abnormal” Leisure (Rojek, 2005) 1. Invasive: slowly withdrawing from society that is regarded as inauthentic an unfulfilling (fueled by drugs and al- cohol) Slowly harming oneself, to withdraw 2. Mephitic; forms of leisure deigned to hurt others (violence toward others). e.i. people who go out and drink and look for a fight. 3. Wild –sporadic, oppurtunistic, attempts to escape from social scripts that are seen as limiting (New Year’s Eve celebrations) Like new Years eve party, girls gone wid. Substance Abuse:Drinking and Drug Use  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 concer  Their abuse can lead to insurmountable social and personal problems Problems Associated with Substance Abuse DUI’s • • Deaths • Crimes • Poverty • SexualAbuse Motivations for Drinking  SOCIAL (POSITIVE, EXTERNAL) ENHANCEMENT (POSITIVE, INTERNAL)  CONFORMITY (NEGA
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