Volunteering as Related to Other Leisure Activities

  • David H. Smith
  • Sarah Dury
  • John Mohan
  • Robert A. Stebbins


Volunteering is done in leisure time and is usually categorized as serious leisure by Stebbins (1996), but is sometimes casual leisure. We review here whether volunteering is essentially independent of other leisure activities or is causally associated with some other leisure activities. Volunteering types cluster empirically among themselves in survey data and with other socio-culturally approved leisure activities in a seldom-noticed leisure general activity pattern (LGAP). The existence of the LGAP can be explained mainly by three factors: (1) pressure of social norms (social conformity) regarding approved ways to spend leisure time; (2) social contagion among an individual’s close people, influencing the person to engage in other LGAP activities; and (3) the Active-Effective Character (AE-C), as a combination of personality and attitude factors. People high on LGAP are often the civic core in modern societies, a small proportion of people doing most of the active leisure/civic activities.

The objective of this chapter is to disentangle how social scientists study individual leisure activities and activity domains of adults all over the world.


Leisure Activity Principle Component Analysis Political Participation Civic Engagement Civic Participation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Smith
    • 1
  • Sarah Dury
    • 2
  • John Mohan
    • 3
  • Robert A. Stebbins
    • 4
  1. 1.USA
  2. 2.Belgium
  3. 3.UK
  4. 4.USA

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