Pastimes, 6th ed. [etext]

The Context of Contemporary Leisure
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Dimensions:8.5 x 11
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Author(s): Ruth V. Russell

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This new sixth edition of Pastimes reflects almost 40 years of scholarship as well as professional and personal practice in recreation, parks, and tourism.

The text has become one of the most widely adopted titles in university courses worldwide. In this new edition of the book, the phenomenon of leisure is presented through new research findings and contemporary societal dilemmas to suggest that leisure is one of the most interesting, relevant, and exciting subjects of study today.

Pastimes reflects a wide range of material from the disciplines of leisure studies, sociology, psychology, economics, political science, anthropology, geography, the humanities, and media and cultural studies.

Indeed, more than a textbook, Pastimes is very much a point of view. Leisure is presented as a human phenomenon that is individual and collective, vital and frivolous, historical and contemporary, factual and subjective, and good and bad.

As a learning tool, this sixth edition teaches more. It contains updated and new illustrations of concepts through field-based cases, biographical features, exploratory activities, and research studies.

In the first part, leisure is defined as a condition of humanity. Its meanings are traced through the humanities and history, as well as in today’s connotations. The benefits of leisure are presented, ranging from freedom to pleasure to risk to spirituality, and leisure’s benefit to healthful well-being is demonstrated. As well, part one of the text presents theories for explaining leisure behavior.

Part Two discusses leisure as a cultural mirror—its societal context. Chapters include leisure and anthropology, geography, technology, popular culture, and taboo recreation.

Finally, in Part Three, the functional side of leisure is explored in terms of its instrumental relationship to work, money, time, and equity.  Leisure systems of public, private, and commercial sponsorship are described to confirm leisure’s utility.

Instructor resources will be available soon, and a website for student resources will be accessible December 2016

#LeisureStudies #Sociology #ParksandRecreation #TourismStudies #Pastimes6 #SagamoreBooks

Author Note: 

So many of you have been teaching with this text for many years, and have developed excellent classroom activities, homework assignments, power points, and other teaching and learning tools to accompany the text. If you would like to share them with other instructors, you are invited to send your ideas to me (, and I will include them in subsequent editions of this teaching manual – giving you, your students, your course, and/or your university citation credit.

Table of Contents: 

About the Author

Part 1  
Leisure as a Condition of Being Human: Personal Context

Chapter 1  
The Meanings of Leisure
Meanings in the Humanities
Meanings from Human History
Today’s Meanings
What We Understand About Leisure’s Meaning

Chapter 2  
Why Leisure Is Vital
Intrinsic Meaning
Solitude and Silence
What We Understand About Leisure’s Value

Chapter 3  
Explaining Leisure Behavior
Demographic Explanations of Leisure Behavior
Theories Explaining Leisure Behavior
What We Understand About Explaining Leisure Behavior

Chapter 4
Leisure and Health
Building Blocks of Well-Being
Leisure and Physical Well-Being
Leisure and Social Well-Being
Leisure and Intellectual Well-Being
Leisure and Emotional Well-Being
What We Understand About Leisure and Health

Part 2  
Leisure as a Cultural Mirror: Societal Context

Chapter 5
Leisure’s Anthropology
Leisure and Culture
Hunches About the Earliest Human Cultures
Cultural Development and Leisure
What We Understand about Leisure’s Cultural Meaning

Chapter 6
Leisure’s Geography
Leisure as Space
Leisure as Place
Environmental Impact
What We Understand About Leisure’s Geographical Significance

Chapter 7
Leisure and Technology
Definitions and History
Technology’s Pervasiveness in Our Lives
Leisure Applications of Technology
The Future of Leisure and Technology
What We Understand About Leisure and Technology

Chapter 8  
Popular Culture
The Importance of Popular Culture
Characterizing Popular Culture
The Role of Entertainment
What We Understand About Popular Culture

Chapter 9
Taboo Recreation
Leisure and Deviance
Examples of Taboo Recreation
Explanations of Taboo Recreation
What We Understand About Taboo Recreation

Part 3  
Leisure as Instrument: Systems Context

Chapter 10  
For and Against Productivity
Balancing Leisure and Work
Economic Consequences
What We Understand About Leisure, Work, and Economics

Chapter 11
The Freedom and Tyranny of Time
Types of Time
Are Time and Leisure Friends?
Time Tyrannies
What We Understand About Leisure and Time

Chapter 12
Is Leisure Fair?
Prohibitions and Permissions
What We Understand About Leisure Equity

Chapter 13
Leisure Systems
Why Leisure Systems Are Important
Leisure Resource Types
Leisure Resource Sponsors
Careers in the Leisure System
What We Understand About Leisure Systems


About the Author(s)

Ruth V. Russell

Dr. Ruth V. Russell is professor emeritus in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University, where she also served as assistant chair, as well as associate dean of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, and dean of University Division (Freshman College).

She has also served on the faculty in Forest Recreation at West Virginia University.

She is a former trustee of the National Recreation and Park Association and has served as president of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators.

Professional experience includes the San Diego Recreation and Parks Department, San Diego–Imperial Counties Girl Scout Council, and Chateau La Jolla Retirement Center.

Dr. Russell has authored numerous college-level textbooks (and a cookbook), published research in leisure sciences in refereed journals, and lectured internationally.

Presently her recreational pursuits include RVing, urban hiking, reading and writing, water volleyball, swimming, watercolor painting, and culinary projects.

Dr. Russell participates in Ask the Author, a Sagamore initiative that enables professors who adopt titles to communicate with the author and really understand what the book is about and how any ancillaries are intended to be used.