Amateurs, Professionals, and Serious Leisure by Robert A. Stebbins

By Robert A. Stebbins

For fifteen years, Robert Stebbins has carried out huge learn on amateurs and pros in theatre, song, archaeology, astronomy, baseball, soccer, magic and stand-up comedy. His courses supply the topic of significant relaxation in-depth scholarly consciousness. this article brings jointly the findings of this examine venture to supply a theoretical framework that unearths the commonalities throughout those 8 fields. all through this venture Stebbins has outfitted at the paintings of Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss and their idea of "grounded theory". First, Stebbins generally saw the regimen actions of amateurs and execs in each one box studied. Then, as he turned extra accustomed to the life-styles of the contributors, he performed long, unstructured, face-to-face interviews with, generally, 30 novice or expert respondents. every one box demanded particular tools of statement, research, interviewing, probing and reporting. up to attainable, notwithstanding, Stebbins requested related questions of all respondents in all fields with the intention to allow generalizations throughout those various fields. the outcome used to be a "substantive grounded concept" of every box studied. Stebbins has built a "formal grounded conception" of amateurs and pros according to the study amassed in all 8 major fields. by means of transcending quite a few contexts, he argues, you could achieve a extra enduring appreciation of the weather that impact peoples' reviews in paintings and hobbies. A overview of the findings throughout this wide variety of actions, together with his findings and concepts on hobbyists and occupation volunteers, enabled Stebbins to derive higher definitions of the most recommendations of the venture, comparable to "amateur", "the public", and "serious rest" -- in addition to "professional", the place he distinguishes among client-centred and public-centred pros who, whereas sharing various ideal-typical attributes, range as to the ability and regulate they've got over their paintings in a democratic society. He offers inductive conclusions approximately careers and the prices and rewards within the 8 amateur-professional fields thought of. He examines the exterior international of amateurs and execs within the mild of such matters as relatives ties, family between amateurs and execs and between amateurs and their employers, public photographs, critics and newshounds, neighborhood contributions, and the query of marginality for amateurs who're stuck among the paintings global of the pro and the informal rest global of nearly all of the inhabitants. He concludes with an exploration of the long run position of significant relaxation when it comes to predictions of larger unemployment and elevated relaxation time and toughness.

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Additional resources for Amateurs, Professionals, and Serious Leisure

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We now have a textbook example of premature theoretical closure, instigated chiefly by the attribution theorists themselves, in which a set of definitional propositions has gained scientific acceptance as established fact even though the empirical scrutiny was minimal. One way out of the resulting conceptual confusion would be to treat the field as if it were still at the exploratory stage of research design and theoretical development. At this stage, the attributes are best treated - as I have tried to do here - as components of an ideal-typical definition of professional (Lopreato and Alston 1970).

The classification of individual hobbyists also depends partly on the context in which they pursue their activities. For example, swimmer number one is termed a player because he competes in swimming meets. Swimmer number two, however, is termed an activity participant, because she swims for the pleasure of the development and maintenance of her skill, as well as for the exercise it provides. Several hobbies in the arts, science, sport, and entertainment areas have evolved over the years into full-time livelihoods and, ultimately, into professions.

All this means that volunteers are neither facsimiles of professionals, as amateurs are, nor bureaucratized workers. 8 These two aspects enable volunteers, as they pursue their serious leisure, to contribute to society in a unique way. This they do by helping. That helping contrasts with the contributions of amateurs and hobbyists, whose commercial, scientific, sport, artistic, and entertainment activities are fundamentally cultural. While amateurs and hobbyists do help on occasion, as in the case of the avocational scientists who collect data for professional analysts, helping is only a secondary goal; it is but a collateral consequence of their self-interested search for leisure with 17 Serious Leisure durable benefit.

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