The philosophy of serious leisure: A reflective narrative

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only


This paper reflects on my current research in leisure studies from a philosophical perspective addressing a few ontological questions. My research is about human information behaviour in the context of serious leisure. It is a term coined by Dr Robert Stebbins in 1982 to differentiate hobbies, voluntary actions, and amateurism from other leisure pursuits. Engagement in serious leisure typically requires personal passion, perseverance, and dedication. It also entails learning new skills and specialised knowledge. Therefore, serious leisure pursuits are sufficiently challenging but adequately rewarding. Over the past five years, I have studied various groups of hobbyists, including birdwatchers, knitters, potters, and bonsai growers. I employ qualitative methods, such as phenomenology and content analysis, and collect empirical data through semi-structured interviews. In addition, I explore user-generated content on social media, looking for patterns of information activities of serious leisure enthusiasts. My reflection shows people engage in serious leisure to enjoy pure pleasure, satisfy their passion, and find new meaningful purposes in life. Moreover, they do not quickly lose enthusiasm even if they face hardships and challenges. As a result, they develop a sense of identity, authenticity, and agency in the long term, which ultimately help them enhance their eudaimonic wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022
EventAustralasian Association of Philosophy Conference -
Duration: 28 Jun 202207 Jul 2022


ConferenceAustralasian Association of Philosophy Conference
Internet address


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