Robert Stebbins

Robert Stebbins
The University of Calgary | HBI · Department of Sociology

PhD

About

487
Publications
267,184
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13,192
Citations
Citations since 2017
144 Research Items
5893 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,200
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,200
Introduction
Robert Stebbins is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology, The University of Calgary. Robert does research in qualitative research in the area of leisure studies. One of his current book projects is Leisure’s Legacy: Challenging the Commonsense View of Free Time.'
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - December 2019
The University of Calgary
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
July 1976 - December 1999
The University of Calgary
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 1973 - May 1976
University of Texas at Arlington
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (487)
Article
Full-text available
Optimal Leisure Lifestyle: What we need to know Robert A. Stebbins, Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Canada, tells us what an optimal leisure lifestyle consists of, including finding balance in everyday living. Professor Stebbins explains that the OLL is a contextual phenomenon, where a person’s diverse work, leisure, and obligatory...
Article
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It seems that, from time immemorial, wayward youth have made their presence felt in one disurbing way or another in the communities where they live. Their propensity for going agains the grain of conventional society has commonly been traced to conditions unique to adolescence and young adulthood, often the mos unsettling transition in life during...
Article
Full-text available
In manifold ways colleges and universities foster leisure and thereby leisure education. Some of this leisure education is an unintended consequence of the official mission and practices of these institutions, while some is formal training that can also be understood as serious leisure leading to devotee work. In other words, by means of these leis...
Article
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This article summarizes the serious leisure perspective (SLP) in language that can inform practitioners outside leisure studies of the nature and possible application of the SLP to their professional interests.
Book
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This monograph presents qualitative data on amateurs and professionals in theater, archaeology, and baseball.
Book
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Several chapters in this book treat of types of deviance as either casual or serious leisure.
Article
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This study aims to explore the serious leisure to devotee work (SL-DW) transformation trajectory in the case of yoga. An in-depth semistructured interview was conducted with 15 serious yoga practitioners to examine career change and the relationships between leisure and work. The findings of the research outline the passage from stepping into casua...
Article
Commodity agents facilitate certain serious pursuits.
Book
‘…a smart and concise guide to living written by an author whose trenchant insights into leisure, culture and everyday life are as relevant today as they have ever been.’ - Tony Blackshaw, Professor of Leisure Studies and Sociology, Sheffield Hallam University The world of non-work obligations – defined as disagreeable activities that are neither w...
Article
1975, p. 18) describes self-directed learning (SDL) as "a process in which individuals take the initiative without the help of others in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating goals, identifying human and material resources, and evaluating learning outcomes. " The process of SDL, alternatively known as autodidacticism, is especially evident i...
Article
This phenomenological study examined the ways in which self-exploration manifested in Hong Kong adolescents’ leisure experiences. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 75 secondary school students on the choice of and engagement in their most important and interesting leisure activities. Seven themes emerged from data analysis tha...
Book
The Serious Leisure Perspective (SLP) is a theoretic framework developed by Robert A. Stebbins in 1973, that brings together three main forms of leisure known as serious leisure, casual leisure, and project-based leisure. The SLP has evolved considerably since 1973, and this textbook provides a synthesis of the many concepts and propositions, as we...
Chapter
Full-text available
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),...
Chapter
Full-text available
As this book will show the SLP has flowered bountifully since 1973, and with this efflorescence, has made it increasingly difficult for all but the most dedicated of scholars to grasp the present complex theoretic construction in all its detail. For this reason alone a user-friendly synthesis is badly needed, one based on the many concepts and prop...
Chapter
Chronologically speaking it is common to think in terms of past, present, and future time commitments (discretionary and coerced) at work, leisure, and in the area of non-work obligations. The kinds of time commitments people make help shape their work and leisure lifestyles and constitute part of the patterning of those lifestyles. In the domain o...
Chapter
I have integrated eight essential properties called “first principles” in a lengthy definition of leisure presented in Stebbins (2012). All of them figure in the shorthand definition set out below. Five of them, however, are only alluded to there. These five are leisure as a unique social institution, as having unique geographic space, as the fulcr...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter begins with the cultural base of the SLP, as served up in its relationship to ethnicity, gender, information, social class, cultural costs and constraints, and temporal space. A discussion of social change follows.
Chapter
One major feature of this synthesis has been its parade of the concepts comprising the SLP. This intellectual procession began in Chap. 2 and was led by the theoretic center of leisure studies in general and the SLP in particular, namely, the idea of leisure itself. Activity and experience were next in line, followed by the basic conceptual framewo...
Chapter
Informal small groups also have roles and goals, which however, are often poorly defined. Such groups are further held together, in part, by members’ recognition of the group’s distinction of being a group of accepted individuals to the exclusion of other people. In formal small groups, rules, roles, and goals are more or less explicit. Most groups...
Chapter
Tourism has been studied through the lens of the SLP for over 25 years, starting with the conceptualization of Hall and Weiler (1992). It is thus one of the oldest of the Perspective’s extensions. Tourism may be understood as serious, casual or project-based leisure (Stebbins 1996). These uses of free time help explain what tourists want from such...
Chapter
The preceding chapters show that obligation is an omnipresent feature of everyday life, and that it may be agreeable or disagreeable (Stebbins 2000). Additionally, obligation is felt in the three domains of work, leisure, and non-work obligation, which were briefly considered earlier and will be more fully discussed in Chap. 7.
Chapter
In three of the early studies (reported in Stebbins 1979), I was interested in separating according to strength of attitude amateurs from professionals and separating both from their publics (including dabblers and neophytes). In this quest I found that confidence, perseverance, commitment, preparedness, and self-conception distinguish participants...
Article
Full-text available
Physical exercise is an activity whose health-related benefits have been promoted by health professionals and social institutions. However, given that the levels of practice are not ideal, the subjective variables-that give meaning, provide continuity and may increase exercise adherence-need to be studied in depth. In this sense, fitness training i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Study of the positive side of human life is in short supply in the social sciences, where fields like sociology revolve primarily around disagreeable problems. Explaining positiveness must rest on a non-problematic model, namely, the sociology of leisure. Among its basic concepts are activity and personal agency. They play a pivotal role in the app...
Article
The serious leisure perspective offers a panoramic view of the many different kinds of free-time activities found in modern society, describes their origin and appeal, and explains the different rewards gained by pursuing them. The Perspective also shows how these activities fit in the local community and wider society. Broadly classified as seriou...
Chapter
The PEA (pondering of everyday activities) of Homo otiosus, leisure man, diverges from that of Homo faber, for it relates to how we see life in our free time, time as devoted neither to the need to work (devotee work being the principal exception) nor to undertake non-work chores. Leisure is defined. Then diverse leisure concerns that encourage PEA...
Chapter
Full-text available
Homo obligatus—a person undertaking disagreeable chores—has views on these obligations, including what they are, why and when they must be done, and where they are to be completed. If other people are implicated (e.g., their help is needed, they will benefit from the completed chore, they are needed to complete the chore), they too become part of H...
Chapter
We manage everyday life by pondering it, by thinking and talking about a variety of personal interests and concerns while engaged in work, leisure, or non-work obligatory activities. This process is referred to here as pondering everyday activities, or PEA. It is at once a process of thought and talk as well as an activity. This chapter explores th...
Book
This pivot provides a conceptual statement of an approach to understanding the interrelationships of work, leisure, and “chore” activities in daily life, and how they are managed in practice. Drawing on the sociology of everyday life, Stebbins puts forward the notion of Pondering Everyday Life (PEA), a thinking process/activity in which we routin...
Article
An association is “a relatively formally structured nonprofit group that depends mainly on volunteer members for participation and activity and that primarily seeks member benefits, even if it may also seek some public benefits” (Smith, Stebbins, & Dover, 2006, p. 23). The arts that give birth to these organizations can be classified as either fine...
Chapter
Full-text available
Smith and Raymen (Theoretical Criminology, 2016) have proposed a theory of criminology revolving primarily around the concepts of harm, commodification, and leisure. This chapter inter-relates the second two ideas in a range of leisure activities found in the serious leisure perspective and shows their consumptive and non-consumptive properties for...
Article
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The usual criteria in the studies of work and leisure fail to define the remunerated regional and national (high-level) democratic politician. What does this worker, who in census terminology is “not elsewhere classified,” mean to the conscientious voter? High-level politicians are not amateurs, for they are paid enough to earn a substantial part,...
Article
There is a plethora of distinct terms with a range of theoretical assumptions describing these practices, among them ‘adventure sports’, ‘outdoor recreation’, ‘high-risk sport’, ‘extreme sport’, and ‘lifestyle sport’. Some scholars have tried to clarify this terminological and conceptual problem, but no consensus has been reached. The present artic...
Article
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Leaving an academic post by retiring (from teaching, research, academic administra- tion) is to leave in later life a main, wider-community social involvement. Retirement from this occupational heaven can lead to an incongruous lifestyle, however, to a lonely, unsettling existence, even with compatible spouse, family, and close friends near at hand...
Article
In common sense much of leisure is seen in simple terms: it is fun. Such an image even prevails in research specialties and teaching programmes in colleges and universities operating outside the units of these institutions that are devoted to the study of leisure. This indictment includes the health sciences and their instructional programmes. The...
Article
In common sense much of leisure is seen in simple terms: it is fun. Such an image even prevails in research specialties and teaching programmes in colleges and universities operating outside the units of these institutions that are devoted to the study of leisure. This indictment includes the health sciences and their instructional programmes. The...
Article
Fellowship and friendly social relations during free time are referred to here as leisure-based sociability. It is a prominent reward of participation in all free-time activity, except that which is largely, if not entirely, individual (eg, solitary fishing, hunting, hiking, collecting, daydreaming playing the piano).
Article
As a sociologist with a long-standing interest in work and leisure, I have wondered from time to time how to describe high-level politicians at work in democratic societies. Fresh off my initial study of amateurs in the mid-1970s, I became intrigued with James Q. Wilson’s The Amateur Democrat when it first came to my attention. Since I planned addi...
Article
Fellowship and friendly social relations during free time, referred to here as leisure-based sociability, is a prominent reward of participation in many groups based on volunteer membership, consisting for this review mainly of amateurs, hobbyists, altruistically oriented volunteers, and the associations of these three. This benefit is analyzed acc...
Article
It appears that the majority of people across the globe engage only in non-competitive leisure, in that most casual leisure is of this nature and such leisure is more popular than the serious and project-based types. The universal appeal of, for example, relaxation, entertainment television, sociable conversation, and pleasurable sensory stimulatio...
Chapter
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Article
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This study investigated the choice and pursuit of adolescents’ most important and interesting leisure activity. It is underpinned by the concept of serious leisure, recent perceptions of seriousness as a continuum and calls for incorporating contextual elements of serious activity pursuit. A questionnaire survey was administered to 832 students fro...
Article
Full-text available
In Leisure's Legacy Stebbins [2017. Leisure’s legacy: Challenging the common sense view of free time. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.] explored the nature of the common-sense definition, comparing it with what leisure studies has learned since its inception around 1970. A different tack is taken in the present article, doing so by looking into how...
Article
Full-text available
Starting with Veblen the rocky career of the sociology of leisure is traced up to the present. The field grows slowly during the first half of the twentieth century in North America and Britain and then from approximately 1950 to 1970 it enjoys a spurt of research. After that mainstream sociology in various ways abandons its progeny referred to her...
Article
Fellowship and friendly social relations during free time, referred to here as leisure-based sociability, is a prominent reward of participation in many groups based on volunteer membership, consisting for this review mainly of amateurs, hobbyists, altruistically oriented volunteers, and the associations of these three. This benefit is analyzed acc...
Article
Full-text available
Leisure activities and identity interact and structure young people’s lives. Empirical research on such interaction is scarce and contradictory. This paper explores the relationships between leisure activities with different levels of commitment (serious, casual) and identity traits. A total of 938 young people (476 men and 462 women) aged 18 to 24...
Article
Self-directed learning (SDL) is intentional self-planned activity where the individual is clearly in control of this process. Such learning may be formal (here it would be synonymous with adult education), but most often, it is informal. There are many areas of human life where it is practiced. In leisure, three critical questions emerge. One, how...

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Project
This is a book-length treatment of this subject due to be released in July by Emerald Group Publishers.
Archived project