Dictionary of Concepts in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Dictionary of Concepts in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Dictionary of Concepts in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Dictionary of Concepts in Recreation and Leisure Studies


"The obvious audience for this book is professionals, scholars, and students in the recreation field. However, many of these entries relate to other fields of interest. . . . [T]his work should find a place in academic libraries supporting curricula in recreation and related leisure studies." Reference Books Bulletin


In all disciplines, scholars seek to understand and explain the subject matter in their area of specialization. The object of their activity is to produce a body of knowledge about specific fields of inquiry. As they achieve an understanding of their subject, scholars publish the results of their interpretations (that is, their research findings) in the form of explanations. Explanation, then, can be said to organize and communicate understanding. When reduced to agreed-upon theoretical principles, the explanations that emerge from this process of organizing understanding are called concepts.

Concepts serve many functions. They help us identify topics that we think about, help classify these topics into related sets, help relate them to specific times and places, and provide us with definitions. Someone has observed that without concepts, "man could hardly be said to think."

Like knowledge itself, the meanings of concepts are fluid. From the moment an authority introduces one into a discipline's vocabulary and gives it specific significance, that concept has the potential to acquire a variety of meanings. As new understandings develop in a discipline, inevitably the concepts change.

Although this pattern in the formation of the meaning of concepts is widely recognized, few dictionaries--certainly none in a consistent manner--trace the path a concept takes as it becomes embedded in a research topic's literature.

This dictionary makes accessible brief, authoritative discussions of major concepts in recreation and leisure studies. Like all other concept dictionaries in this series, entries uniformly consist of four parts.

The first briefly defines a concept's current meaning and/or meanings. The second locates a concept's origins in the vocabulary of recreation and leisure studies and, paragraph by paragraph, traces to the present how its various mean-

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