Serious Leisure Perspective, Free Essay for Everyone

Published: 2022-08-25
Serious Leisure Perspective, Free Essay for Everyone
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Entertainment
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 574 words
5 min read

Robert Stebbins and Tony Veal have made tremendous contributions to the development of understanding the perspective of serious Leisure. These two theorists have provided differing opinions with the Stebbins attempting to correct the perception laid out by Veal. In a response, Veal defends his theory by outlining critical issues that contradict with Stebbins rejoinder (Veal, 2018). This paper will focus on the argument raised by Veal in his article, "Is the serious leisure perspective valid? Advancing the debate."

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The main question that prompted this debate on regarding leisure is the validity of a concept known as "serious leisure." Stebbins groups leisure into three categories that included serious casual and project-based. However, the central debate develops in the understanding of the perspective of serious leisure. Stebbins highlights four problems in the Veal's work. One of the contentious issues is the relationship between social worlds, identity, and serious leisure. Veal believes that no relationship exists among the three elements. It is argued that serious leisure is not always a recipe for determining optimality and that the theory cannot be supported empirically.

Veal (2018) also invalidates that Stebbins' classification system because all leisure can demand different degrees of engagement, seriousness, and casualness. He insists that basing on a list that ranks leisure activities in the form of serious, casual and project-based can be misleading. In this line of argument, Veal seems to suggest that the intentions of the degree of participation in leisure activities cannot be set as a rule. People have choices to decide how they wish to participate in leisure and only then can the level of seriousness be determined.

The third debatable point between these two theorists is the concept of core activity. Veal (2018) indicates that Stebbins failed to account for the significance of core activity in Stebbins' theory of serious leisure perspective. In this line of argument, Veal tends to believe the main activity must accompany that seriousness. A central action must be in place to gravitate the entire process of leisure. However, Stebbins must have failed to acknowledge the importance of core and non-core components.

The debate of the two theorists can be associated with the activity of volunteering. Both Stebbins and Veal agree that leisure can be pursued in either casual or serious mode. On the other hand, volunteering can house people who consider the activity casual, serious or project-based. The variation in degree is likely to occur depending on the orientation of an individual. A similar line of argument can be applied in the case of sports. In this scenario, seriousness while engaging in sports can be viewed as a dimension of that can be used to understand the nature of leisure experience.

Basing on the debate, it is evident that serious leisure perspective can elicit a serious debate. Some situation such as sports can turn out to be controversial given the fact that some participants may consider a game as leisure while others pursue it as a career. The levels of seriousness between these two individuals are likely to vary. Sports can be considered as a leisure activity that is competitive which may demand extra attention. This means that volunteers can choose the levels of seriousness as well as dedication to an activity while sportsmen may be forced to exhibit seriousness.


Veal, T., 2018. Is the Serious Leisure Perspective valid? Advancing the debate. [Online] ( Updated 16 Apr. 2018). Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].

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