The Serious Leisure Perspective

  • Robert A. Stebbins
Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)


The serious leisure perspective (SLP) can be described, in simplest terms, as the theoretic framework that synthesizes three main forms of leisure and shows, at once, their distinctive features, similarities, and interrelationships (the SLP is discussed in detail in Stebbins, 1992, 2001a, 2007/2015). Additionally, the Perspective (to avoid confusion, Perspective is capitalized wherever it appears as shorthand for serious leisure perspective) considers how the three forms — serious pursuits (serious leisure/devotee work), casual leisure, and project-based leisure — are shaped by various psychological, social, cultural, and historical conditions. Each form serves as a conceptual umbrella for a range of types of related activities. That the Perspective takes its name from the first of these should in no way suggest that it be regarded as the most important or superior of the three in some abstract sense. Rather, the Perspective is so titled simply because it got its start in the study of serious leisure; such leisure is, strictly from the standpoint of intellectual invention, the godfather of the other two. Furthermore, serious leisure has become the bench mark from which analyses of casual and project-based leisure have often been undertaken. So, naming the Perspective after the first facilitates intellectual recognition; it keeps the idea in familiar territory for all concerned.


Leisure Activity Social World Core Activity Social Attraction Powerful Reward 
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Copyright information

© Robert Alan Stebbins 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Stebbins
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCanada

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