Hedonism, Eudaimonia, and the Serious Leisure Perspective

  • Robert A. StebbinsEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The serious leisure perspective (SLP) is a theoretic framework that synthesizes three main forms of leisure, showing, at once, their distinctive features, similarities, and interrelationships The forms are the serious pursuits (serious leisure, devotee work) and casual and project-based leisure. It is during their serious pursuits that leisure participants are eudaimonic, are living according to the daimon. The casual leisure activities are hedonic. The third form constituting the SLP – project-based leisure – is also eudaimonic but significantly more weakly so than the serious pursuits. The SLP is set out in detail sufficient to portray how eudaimonism and hedonism are experienced in modern leisure. A treatment of the relationship of the SLP to well-being rounds out the chapter. Here the concept of optimal leisure lifestyle is used to show how all three forms of the Perspective can contribute to personal well-being. That is, both eudaimonism and hedonism are important ingredients in the recipe for a life of lasting happiness. In this regard, Self-efficacy and personal agency are discussed as two critical processes that generate eudaimonia, a state that can, however, be undermined by unchecked selfishness.


Happiness Well-being Eudaimonia Serious leisure 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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