Pulling the Pin on Active Outdoor Leisure: Building an Understanding of Leisure Abandonment from the Narratives of Outdoor Recreationists

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Department or Administrative Unit

Family and Consumer Sciences

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The study draws upon the leisure narratives of a sample of outdoor recreationists who had abandoned their chosen activity of tramping (hiking), freshwater angling, mountaineering, or hunting. Abandonment, even when only temporary, was a traumatic experience for study participants associated with feelings of loss and guilt. The distinction between participation and abandonment is not entirely clear. Abandonment is complex and may be short-lived, longer-lasting, or permanent. It is also multidimensional. While it is obviously displayed by a physical abstention or exclusion from the activity, for many participants this was merely the outward manifestation of abandonment, and they retained their inner identities as participants. Sometimes physical involvement in the activity was substituted by a more cerebral, social, or institutional involvement. The study supports and builds upon Stebbins's (2008) typology of abandonment and poses the notion that multiple antecedents can be operative for any one abandonment experience.


This article was originally published in Leisure Sciences. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Leisure Sciences


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