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By Robert A. Stebbins

For fifteen years, Robert Stebbins has performed huge examine on amateurs and pros in theatre, tune, archaeology, astronomy, baseball, soccer, magic and stand-up comedy. His guides supply the subject matter of significant relaxation in-depth scholarly cognizance. this article brings jointly the findings of this examine venture to supply a theoretical framework that unearths the commonalities throughout those 8 fields. all through this venture Stebbins has outfitted at the paintings of Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss and their proposal of "grounded theory". First, Stebbins broadly saw the regimen actions of amateurs and pros in each one box studied. Then, as he grew to become extra conversant in the life-styles of the members, he performed long, unstructured, face-to-face interviews with, generally, 30 novice or specialist respondents. each one box demanded unique equipment of remark, research, interviewing, probing and reporting. up to attainable, besides the fact that, Stebbins requested comparable questions of all respondents in all fields on the way to allow generalizations throughout those different fields. the outcome used to be a "substantive grounded thought" of every box studied. Stebbins has built a "formal grounded conception" of amateurs and pros according to the examine collected in all 8 significant fields. via transcending numerous contexts, he argues, you may achieve a extra enduring appreciation of the weather that have an effect on peoples' reports in paintings and spare time activities. A evaluation of the findings throughout this wide variety of actions, together with his findings and concepts on hobbyists and profession volunteers, enabled Stebbins to derive higher definitions of the most suggestions of the venture, comparable to "amateur", "the public", and "serious rest" -- in addition to "professional", the place he distinguishes among client-centred and public-centred pros who, whereas sharing various ideal-typical attributes, range as to the facility and keep watch over they've got over their paintings in a democratic society. He provides inductive conclusions approximately careers and the prices and rewards within the 8 amateur-professional fields thought of. He examines the exterior international of amateurs and execs within the gentle of such matters as relations ties, kin between amateurs and pros and between amateurs and their employers, public photos, critics and newshounds, neighborhood contributions, and the query of marginality for amateurs who're stuck among the paintings global of the pro and the informal relaxation international of the vast majority of the inhabitants. He concludes with an exploration of the long run position of significant relaxation in terms of predictions of larger unemployment and elevated rest time and durability.

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We turn next to the elaborations. 26 Amateurs, Professionals, and Serious Leisure ELABORATIONS 1 Professionals turn out unstandardized products and services. For professionals who work with clients, such a statement is obvious, inasmuch as the ideal professional service is, among other things, more or less tailored to individual needs and personalities. Indeed, it is a unique, or at best highly unusual, service. By comparison, professionals who serve publics offer unique products, to the extent that a painting, rendition of a concerto, scientific journal article, play in baseball, or performance by a magician can be termed a singular event.

Indeed that profound love, or passion, for the pursuits on which the publiccentred professions are built (see chapter 6) turns out to be a key 31 Professionals attitude, one that distinguishes these professionals from their clientcentred counterparts whose love for their work appears to be more moderate. Indeed, how many physicians, lawyers, or schoolteachers would work for the low pay of the typical artist, magician, or basketball player, or, incidentally, for the pure joy of the amateur? Roth (1974,10) criticizes the standards, not to mention the service, component of this attribute, by pointing out that client-centred professionals often give inferior service to minority and deviant groups.

Certainly they are also worthy of study. Thus we are forced to return to the question of what that product is. In other words, we must still ask what a profession is and how we define it. Third, as if it were proof that the attribution approach is unnecessary, Roth asserts that the attributes identified so far are unproved and sometimes even unexamined. Although that has been deplorably true in the past, it is hardly a reason to abandon all efforts to study these attributes empirically and arrive thereby at a valid definition of a profession.

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