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Social Institutions

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Abstract

Viewed as activity the great proportion of everyday life can be conceptualized as being experienced in one of three domains: work, leisure, and non-work obligation (Stebbins 2009a, Chap. 1). At first blush it might seem that all of life can be conceptualized thus. Still, when introducing the concept of activity in the SLP (Stebbins 2009a, pp. 4–7), I noted that experiences we must undergo entirely against our will fail to fit the definition of activity presented there. For instance, the definition of activity does not fit things some people are, through violence, compelled to experience entirely against their will, including rape, torture, interrogation, forced feeding, and judicial execution. It would seem to be likewise for the actions of those driven by a compulsive mental disorder. As pointed out the ends sought in these unwanted experiences are those of other people, as they pursue their activities. The “victims” of those activities lack agency, unless as noted, they can manage to counterattack with an activity intended as resistance. One might ask at this point if our existence is not more complicated than this. Indeed it is, for each of the three is itself enormously complex, and there is also some significant overlap in the domains.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This section and the next draw substantially on Charles Sylvester’s (1999) excellent description and analysis of leisure, as philosophized in ancient Greek and early Judeo-Christian thought.

  2. 2.

    Pearce’s research predates the formal birth of the SLP in 2007, and so cannot be regarded as validating the Perspective in that the central concepts guiding her study were not defined in those terms.

  3. 3.

    Paraphrased and elaborated from Stebbins, R.A. (1998, pp. 3-4).

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Stebbins, R.A. (2020). Social Institutions. In: The Serious Leisure Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48036-3_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48036-3_7

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