Hobbies and leisure taken seriously

This post reviews the concepts of leisure and hobbies taken very seriously and their benefits.

The well-known Canadian sociologist RA Stebbins has been interested in a specific type of leisure directly related to hobbies. Hence, his concepts of leisure are mainly transferable to hobbies and interests. His most significant contribution in this regard is the concept of serious leisure (“serious leisure”). This adjective, “serious,” in Spanish, refers, in this case, to something that is done to reach a certain depth and with significant involvement in said activity. That is to say; it is a seriousness that has nothing to do with what is opposed to fun.

Serious leisure is probably more beneficial for the person since it provokes more intense and satisfying sensations, emotions, or feelings compared to non-serious peace (“casual” in English, which is equivalent in Spanish to informal). ).

Stebbins defines serious leisure as ¬ęthat which seeks to systematically follow an activity of an amateur, hobbyist or volunteer type, an activity that the person finds so important, interesting and enriching that he embarks on a career focused on acquiring and express a combination of their characteristics in terms of skills, knowledge and experience.”

Amateur is understood as an activity that has a professional alternative, such as, for example, playing an instrument, singing, acting in theater, or writing; hobbyists are those who carry out activities without a professional alternative, such as, for example, collecting or modeling. The third group is that of volunteering carried out in a committed way.

In addition, serious leisure is characterized by six main properties:

1- need to persevere

2-follow a career or organized development

3-make a significant personal effort

4-Long-lasting and wide-ranging effects

5-community spirit regarding the activity carried out

6-intense identification with the activity carried out

Although serious leisure has essential emotional, mental, or social benefits, it also entails more significant effort, sacrifice, and frustration. Stebbins recommends combining some strenuous leisure activities with one or more non-serious ones.

As can be seen, most of what has been said directly applies to our concept of hobbies and interests, which would constitute the main content of the severe leisure group.

Thus, an example of a severe hobby would be learning to play an instrument in a conservatory, academy, or with a teacher, then practicing periodically and being part of an amateur musical group with regular performances. A non-serious hobby, which could complement the previous one, would be to be fond of listening to music.


When considering a hobby within leisure activities, it is convenient to know that a “serious” way of doing it is more satisfying and beneficial. Still, it will also require more dedication and effort.

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