Date Submitted:
03/18/2011 04:06 AM
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3844/ 16
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Recreation, Leisure And Play


      The idea of leisure has been in existence for many centuries and has come to have many different meanings depending on the period in history or the civilization that it originated from. From as early as Ancient Greece, Rome or Babylonia, the term we now know as leisure has existed in some form or another. As has been widely noted in introductory recreation texts, schole was both the ancient Greek word for leisure meaning, “serious activity without the pressure of necessity” and is the root of the English word for school (Godbey, 2003). To the ancient Greeks, leisure, education, and culture were intertwined. In other words, learning was available only for the rich, people with the wealth to afford free time. Leisure, as we know it today, has changed from the original meaning of the word. From what I have read and found in various books and articles, Leisure can be defined in 3 different ways: leisure defined as a state of being or a state of mind, leisure defined as an activity, and leisure defined as time. I will discuss the various definitions of leisure today and then discuss my issues with each definition.

Leisure Defined as a State of Mind

      Leisure defined as a state of mind is, in my mind, the least often used definition of the word. The way to understand this concept would be use it in the context such as “someone who is at leisure”; meaning freedom from anxiety, obligation, or constraint or having an internal locus of control. Locus of Control refers to an individual’s perception of main causes of events in life.  More simply, having an internal locus of control means that you believe that you are the master of your own destiny. John Neulinger (1974) states:

      Leisure has one and only one essential criterion, and that is the condition of perceived freedom. Any activity carried out freely, without constraint or compulsion, may be considered to be leisure. “To leisure” implies being engaged in any activity as a free agent and…

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