Defining leisure and recreation in Malaysia Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h128ng818

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  • The fundamental aim of this study was to determine how Malaysians define both leisure and recreation. Two ethnic groups, Chinese and Malays, and rural and urban variants of these groups were included in the sample. The other objective was to determine if there were differences in the definitions due to differences in ethnic backgrounds and place of residence. Qualitative, in-depth interviews, participant observation and the pile sort technique were the methods used to study the subjective leisure experiences of informants. Coding and categorization of the data resulted in the formulation of a conceptual framework and several general themes. Informants did not explicitly differentiate between the concepts, leisure and recreation, and nearly all of them were more familiar with the broader term, leisure.' Their understanding of these concepts was similar to professional adopted definitions of the terms. However, the conceptual framework demonstrated perceptions of leisure as more than dimensions of time and activity consisting of other salient variables such as motives, constraints, life stage, past experiences, affective and beneficial outcomes which combined to define the subjective leisure experience. Several emergent themes showed that there were only slight or no differences in the informants' perceptions of leisure due to differences in ethnic backgrounds. Themes on structural constraints, the social nature of leisure, preferences for natural recreation areas, and hedonic and beneficial outcomes of leisure pursuits demonstrated that informants shared similar perceptions of leisure in terms of motives, constraints and perceived affective outcomes. The theme on celebration of cultural festivals revealed several differences due to cultural differences in functions and content of the festivals. While both rural and urban informants frequently participated in mass leisure activities, both groups also differed in their participation in at least two types of activities. Rural informants were found to be more active in extractive recreation and community-based social activities. These differences were attributed to accessibility of natural resources, the lack of other recreation opportunities, structural constraints, and the perceived community benefits derived from community gatherings respectively. Implications for research and leisure and recreation planning are discussed in light of the themes generated.
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