Exam One Review Chapters 1, 15, 14, 17 First exam Notes from text: Classical view of leisure Leisure as free time Leisure and social status Feminist view of Leisure Sex as a form of leisure When sex is no longer considered leisure Gender and leis
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Part One: Leisure in Canada
Section A: Understanding Leisure
Chapter 1: Defining Leisure
The Classical View of Leisure: Leisure as a State of Being
Classical View refers to “contemplation, enjoyment of self in search of knowledge,
debate, politics, and cultural enlightenment. Classical referring to ancient
Clear line between work recreation and leisure, work was seen as a means to
provide for ones family, recreation was resting after work, and while leisure is a way
to enjoy ones self.
Greeks believed leisure was more important than either recreation or work. Work
was seen as a way to earn leisure time. And recreation was seen as a way to
rejuvenate so that one could work some more.
Leisure was associated with freedom
Aristotle (384-322 BCE) (philosopher) saw leisure as necessary way to help
develop growth in goodness, virtue, ethical development and enlightenment of ones
self. Aristotle believed that leisure should be taught within the school system, since
leisure helped cultivate the mind. 80% of the Greek population at the time was
enslaved allowing for such leisure. Aristotle’s ideas on leisure were based on the fact
that the other 80% of the population was doing most of the work while he and other
aristocrats had time freed up thanks to having slaves.
Augustine (354-440 CE) (theologian and bishop) believed in three types of life:
The Life of Leisure
The Life of Action
The Combined Life of Leisure and Action
All three of these lifestyles where acceptable as long as the life of leisure did not
ignore the needs of ones neighbor and the life of action did not ignore the
contemplation of god.
Augustine believed that leisure involved the “investigation of truth.”
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) (theologian, middle ages) combined both Aristotle’s
and Christina teachings together. Leisure is time spent contemplating god.
Josef Pieper (1907-1997) also believed that leisure is “mental and spiritual attitude .
. . a condition of the soul . . . a receptive attitude of mind, a contemplative attitude.”
(Leisure: The Basis of Culture)
Today the Roman Catholics carry out the classical view of leisure. Sylvester (1990)
pointed out the classical leisure view put emphasis on moral ways of spending
Hemmingway (1988) pointed out that Aristotle leisure a way of building character
and was a way of developing community by participating within the community.
The Hindu view of leisure has two distinctive types of leisure:
Pravaritti: active life
Nivritti: contemplative life
Leisure as Activity
Leisure as Activity: non-work activity in which people engage during their free time-
apart from obligations of work, family, and society. (Murphy 1974)
Historically leisure was viewed as useful, for instance leisure had a benefit such as
physical health or enlightenment.
Otium: Leisure (Roman)
Neotium: Work (Roman)
Cicero (106-43 B.C.E) viewed leisure as virtuous, helps one grow, and develop good
morals, and develop ones mind.
In the classical view of leisure, leisure is the noblest way to spend ones time, while
during the Renaissance work was viewed as being the noblest way to spend ones
time. Leisure became a form of recreation a way to recuperate so one could prepare
ones self for more work.
During the Renaissance the phrase “a person is the measure of all things,”
was coined, meaning that a person has unlimited potential in the here and now.
People moved from enlightenment and thinking about the hereafter to the present.
As a result work was given a higher value.
The Protestant Reformers (sixteenth centaury) viewed both work and life were
viewed a sacred.
Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546) every activity work and non-work related
could glorify god.
John Calvin (1509-1564) was opposed to excesses but approved of participation in
the arts, games and social parties as long as they contributed to the rhythm of life.
The Puritans: frowned upon over indulgence and destructive activities but
celebrated life. Puritan Benjamin Colman (1673-1747) believed non-work activities
were meant to serve work purposes. Leisure time was to be spent recuperating so
that one could work more efficiently.
Joffre Dumazedier (1915-2002): French sociologist, believed “Leisure is activity-
apart apart from the obligations f work and family and society- to which the
individual turns at will, for relaxation, diversion, or broadening his knowledge and
his spontaneous social participation, the free exercise of his creativity capacity.”
He believed that leisure had three functions:
Robert Stebbins developed the concepts of serious leisure and casual leisure.
Serious Leisure: The systematic pursuit of an . . activity that participants find so
substantial and interesting that . . .they launch themselves into a career centered on
acquiring and expressing its specific skills, knowledge and experience.”
Three Types of Serious Leisure:
1. Amateurs (amateur artists)
2. Hobbyists (collectors)
3. Volunteers (social welfare volunteers)
The distinctive qualities of serious leisure are:
a. The need to persevere in the activity
b. Finding a career of achievement or involvement
c. Making significant personal effort in the activity
d. Obtaining log lasting tangible or intangible benefits or rewards through the
e. Strong Identification with the chosen activity
f. 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 it. Casual leisure
may involve play, relaxation, passive or active entertainment, conversation, sensory
stimulation, or casual volunteering. The central characteristic of casual leisure is
Leisure may have political or social purposes. Leisure may be seen as political
practice where everyday leisure activities can challenge or weaken dominant belief
systems, serving as a form of resistance. (Shaw 2001)
Civil Leisure Mair (2002-2003): using non-work time for social activism concerning
important societal issues.
Mohammed (570-633 C.E.): Recreate your hearts hour after hour, for the tired
hearts go blind.
Teach your children swimming, shooting, and horseback riding.
In Islam leisure activities fulfill three desires:
a. Amusement, relaxation, and laughter
b. Rhythmic tunes and the experience of objects through the senses
c. The desire to wonder, learn and gain knowledge
Leisure As Free Time:
Free time: The portion of time that remains when time for work and basic
requirements for existence has been satisfied.
Life can be divided into existence (taking care of basic bodily functions, sleeping
eating) subsistence (work), and leisure (discretionary time or non-obligated time).
In pre-industrial societies people’s lives revolved around nature. Time was
determined by the sunrise and sunset, and the seasons determine whether it was
time to plant harvest. IT is unlikely they separated leisure and work. Work was often
lightened by singing and storytelling.