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REC 100 Textbook Summary [Full Course] File contains concise, easy-to-read summaries of assigned textbook readings. Readings arranged chronologically by when they were assigned for ease of use; organized by chapter for increased readability.

Recreation and Leisure Studies
Course Code
Diana Parry

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Chapter 1
- The classical view of leisure emphasizes “contemplation, enjoyment of self in search of
knowledge, debate, politics and cultural enlightenment”
- Aristotle considered leisure to be the noblest of pursuits
- Augustine, who was a theologian and bishop noted that there were three types of life:
o Life of leisure
o Life of action
o Combined life of leisure and action
These were all noble as long as the life of leisure did not ignore the needs of
your neighbour and the life of action did not ignore the needs of God
- In Hinduism a distinction is made between Pravritti, the active life and Nivritti, the
contemplative life
- The leisure as activity view of leisure may be defined as “non-work activity in which people
engage during their free time apart from obligations of work, family and society
- Robert Stebbins has developed the concepts of serious leisure and casual leisure
o Serious Leisure: The systematic pursuit of an activity that participants find so substantial
and interesting that they launch themselves on a career centered on acquiring and
expressing its special skills, knowledge and experience
Amateurs (e.g. amateur artists)
Hobbyists (e.g. collectors)
Volunteers (e.g. social welfare volunteers)
- The distinctive qualities of serious leisure are as follows:
o The need to persevere in the activity
o Finding a career of achievement or involvement in the activity
o Making significant personal effort in the activity
o Obtaining long-lasting tangible or intangible benefits or rewards through the activity
o Strong identification with the chosen activity
o A unique ethos or social world of the participants who engage in the activity
- Casual Leisure: An immediately, intrinsically rewarding, relatively short-lived pleasurable activity
requiring little or no special training to enjoy
- In Islam, leisure activities fulfill three desires:
o Amusement, relaxation and laughter

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o Rhythmic tunes and the experience of objects through the senses
o The desire to wonder, learn and gain knowledge
- The Industrial Revolution allowed people to designate a certain time and place for work, leaving
time that they were away from work to be coined “free time” and could be dedicated to leisure
- The Jewish concept of Sabbath has some similarities to the notion of leisure as free time
- The concept of leisure as a symbol of social class views “leisure as a way of life for the rich elite
- Time is consumed non-productively:
o From a sense of the unworthiness of productive work
o As an evidence of pecuniary ability to afford a life of idleness
- Subjective leisure or leisure as a psychological experience became prominent in the 1980s and
may be defined as “an experience that results from recreation engagements”. This psychological
experience can include properties such as the following:
o Emotion and moods
o Levels of intensity, such as relaxation, arousal and activation
o Cognitive components, such as ideas and images
o Perceptions of how quickly time is passing
o Self-consciousness and self-awareness
o Levels of absorption, attention and concentration
o Feelings of competence in regards to knowledge or skill
o Sense of freedom
- Pure Leisure: A state of mind brought about by an activity freely engaged in and done for its
own sake
o Perceived Freedom: The perception that a person is engaging in the activity because one
has the choice to do so and desires to do it
o Intrinsic Motivation: The individual gains satisfaction from the activity itself and not
from an external reward
- The state of mind perspective of leisure has been criticized as being concerned with private
psychological experiences with little to say about the morals and ethics that may be involved
and for its emphasis on upon optimal experience as being an idea outcome. This perspective
seems to neglect the importance of less intense, but equally important experiences such as
relaxation and “just being”
- Women do a lot of bitching about leisure because they think they aren’t included as much due
to their instinct to take care of others and general uptightness

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- Factors that have led to the possible development of a holistic integration of work and leisure
o A search for authentic experiences at work and elsewhere
o The humanization of work
o A shift from the manufacturing to the service sector
o A rise in professionalism
o A broadening of the labour force with more women and more part-time workers
o Removing of work from the workplace through technology such as computers, which
reverses the trend of the industrial revolution when work was moved from the home to
the factory
Edginton Et Al: Leisure and Life Satisfaction
- Leisure professionals are in the “life satisfaction” business
- The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights provides a standard of achievement and a framework
outlining the basic inalienable rights of all members of the human family
- The declaration of independence also outlines people’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of
- The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights also mandates “the right to rest and leisure including
reasonable limitation of work hours and periodic holidays with pay”
- Attitudes have changed over the years, where leisure was once seen as frivolous and non-
essential that perception has now switched to viewing leisure as a central focus in life that helps
individuals define their self-concept
- Society is not simply comprised of individuals, but generational groupings who all view leisure a
different way
- For now we will define leisure as a “multidimensional construct in which one feels relatively free
from constraints, has a feeling of positive effect, is motivated by internal forces and allows the
exercise of perceived competence”
- Seligman notes that the terms happiness and well being are interchangeable and are the desired
outcome of positive psychology (positive past, present and future emotions)
- Also further subdivides positive emotions into two categories: pleasures and gratifications
o Pleasures are those that can be derived immediately through the bodily senses and ones
that are higher in nature. Bodily pleasures include delicious tastes, sexual feelings, etc.
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