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Social Psychology of Leisure

Social Psychology of Leisure:

The Social Side

presented to Dr. Ruth Russell

in fulfillment
of the requirements of R741,
Readings in Recreation

Ray Woodcock
July 16, 2007

Defining Social Psychology
The definition of social psychology has been a matter of some dispute. In 2006, U.S.
News & World Report ranked Indiana Universitys social psychology program second in the
nation; at the same time, however, it ranked Indiana Universitys social psychology program
14th (U.S. News, 2007; Vlahakis, 2005). This seeming contradiction was possible because
Indiana University (IU) has two programs of social psychology, one each for its departments of
sociology and psychology (IU, 2007). According to Sheldon Stryker (1977) of Indiana
University, psychological social psychology (PSP) and sociological social psychology (SSP)
have historically been distinct, to the point of proceeding essentially independently of one
another (p. 145; accord Boutilier, Roed, & Svendsen, 1980, p. 5).
The roots of this divide, according to Cartwright (1979, p. 91), lie in the views of such
foundational figures as mile Durkheim (1895 / 1950), in sociology, and Floyd Allport (1924) in
psychology, each of whom contended that his approach was capable of handling all social
psychological phenomena. The sense of overt division between PSP and SSP diminished in the
quarter-century after World War II, when there was a strong tendency toward interdisciplinary
cooperation between these two branches (Sewell, 1989, p. 1; House, 1977, p. 162). There
remained, nonetheless, key underlying differences: PSP has typically used experimentation to
understand the impact of social stimuli on individuals, while SSP has used naturalistic observation and surveys to explain social interaction (Stryker, 1977). In other words, say Boutilier et al.
(1980, p. 5), PSP and SSP differ in terms of both methodology and the unit of analysis.
Pedagogically, McCall (1984) suggested that social psychology could be legitimately
understood in any of three ways: as a single discipline, pursued by both sociologists and
psychologists, on the model of biochemistry; as a parallel specialization within both sociology

and psychology on the model of linguistics, as pursued within, say, an English department and
an anthropology department; or as a single name for two complementary fields of learning
perhaps psychosociology and sociopsychology (p. 128, emphasis in original).
Yet some years before that suggestion from McCall (1984), social psychology had
already entered a state of crisis that would undermine his triadic conceptualization. Boutilier
et al. (1980, pp. 6-7) described how, in SSP, there was increasing awareness that the dominant
structural-functionalism (with an emphasis upon static social structures) failed to account for
dynamic interaction between person and society; and on the PSP side, there were increasing
doubts, arising from the psychological uniqueness of the experimenter-subject relationship, about
the external validity of laboratory experimentation. Or as Greenwood (2004) put it, [W]hen
[psychological] social psychologists in the 1960s abandoned any interest in exploring the social
dimensions of cognition, emotion and behavior, their commitment to methodological and
statistical rigor virtually ensured that experiments would exclude any residual social dimensions
(p. 28).
House (1977) thus indicated that PSP began to seem excessively specialized and,
meanwhile, that SSP experienced dissipation or fractionation (p. 161) into symbolic interactionism (SI) and psychological sociology (PS). House distinguished SI as the study of face-toface social interaction via naturalistic observation, while PS typically relates macrosocial
phenomena (e.g., organizations) to the psychological attributes and behaviors of individuals via
survey research. House therefore viewed SI, PS, and PSP as three isolated, identifiable and
distinctive faces of social psychology (which constitute a reasonably exhaustive and mutually
exclusive set) (p. 162). Then again, Boutilier et al. (1980, p. 8) mentioned ethnomethodology,
although it concentrates upon the individuals construction of the social interaction rather than on

interaction itself. Boutilier et al. also cited the sociology of knowledge and critical sociology as
efforts to detect underlying assumptions that subtly constrain research and theory in SSP. Ritzer
and Gindoff (1992) would later suggest that there are many social psychologies, arrayed on a
continuum ranging from individualism to holism (p. 129).
Many perplexed researchers in PSP found, in the 1980s, that the emerging social
cognition paradigm assuaged the foregoing concerns (Greenwood, 2004, p. 28). According to
Devine, Hamilton, and Ostrom (1994), The social cognition approach focuses on the direct
investigation of the cognitive underpinnings of whatever social phenomenon is being studied
and adopts an information-processing model as a means of understanding social phenomena
(pp. 2-3). Greenwood contended, however, that, despite social cognitions proffer of an
opportunity to convert ones experimental PSP program to a more socially oriented one, there
remained no inclination to study the actual social phenomena at issue; the emphasis was still
upon getting inside the head (p. 28, quoting Taylor & Fiske, 1981).
Dramatic differences in the conceptualization of social psychology persist. Toward the
highly psychological end of the spectrum, Mannell and Kleiber (1997) define social psychology
as the scientific study of the behavior and experience of individuals in social situations (p. 25,
emphasis removed). In somewhat different terms that nonetheless retain an internalistic
orientation, quoting Gordon Allport (1968, p. 3), Aron and Aron (1989) say, The very definition
of social psychology is that it studies how people are influenced by the actual, imagined, or
implied presence of others (p. 22). On the other end of the spectrum, Wexler (1996) urges a
non-individualistic orientation in which social psychology can alleviate collective suffering, can
promote recognition that capitalist theory influences social psychological theory, and can assist
in the rethinking of social life.

The middle ground, if there is one, would seemingly have to emphasize the bilateral
relationship between individual and society. It would presumably treat social psychology as not
merely a subset of psychology with special interest in social contacts, but rather as a distinct
discipline addressing inextricably mutual person-society interactions. As a distinct discipline,
social psychology could be ambitious. For example, Rogers, Stenner, Gleeson, and Rogers
(1995) define it as the discipline of studying the problems we have being together and the
problems we have being alone (p. 89).
A healthy emphasis upon the social side of this mutual interaction between individuals
and society seems likely to appeal to sociologists more than to psychologists. To Indiana
University sociologist Alfred R. Lindesmith, together with sociologists Anselm L. Strauss and
Norman K. Denzin, social psychology is the study of the interplay between lives and social
structure, or biography and society (1991, p. 2). Similarly, Cartwright (1997), another
sociologist, defines social psychology as that branch of the social sciences which attempts to
explain how society influences the cognition, motivation, development, and behavior of
individuals and, in turn, is influenced by them (p. 16) in an interdependent relationship not
amenable to reductionistic analysis of any putatively constituent psychological or sociological
components. This does not appear to be the general drift of predominantly psychologically
oriented researchers.
Positioning the Social Psychology of Leisure
The general distinction of individual versus social orientation can be refined somewhat
by considering the specific subjects studied by various proponents proponents of social
psychology. Providing a list of such subjects, Coleman (2006), in his Dictionary of Psychology
(2006), defines social psychology as:

The branch of psychology devoted to social behaviour in all its forms, including
attitudes, social compliance, conformity, obedience to authority, interpersonal
attraction, attribution processes, group processes, helping behavior, and nonverbal
communication. (p. 708).
The Handbook of Social Psychology (Gilbert, Fiske, & Lindzey, 1998) places those
assorted subjects, and others, under eight major headings. Those headings (not counting the ones
dealing with e.g., history and methodology of the field) suggest an intuitively plausible spectrum
of foci, within social psychology, from phenomena or perspectives that are intrapersonal or at
least personal to those that are interpersonal and, on the other extreme, collective. Chapter titles
under these four headings or categories suggest, in each instance, several subtopics that may
illustrate the editors concept:

Intrapersonal: attitudes, mental representations, memory, decisionmaking, motivation,


Personal: personality, self, social development in childhood, gender.

Interpersonal: communication, norms, close relationships, altruism, aggression and

antisocial behavior, stereotyping and discrimination.

Collective: small groups, social conflict, intergroup relations, social movements.

Very similarly, Hewstone, Manstead, and Stroebe (1997) begin with history and

methodology, turn to attributions and attitudes, and then step through a number of the personal,
interpersonal, and collective topics just mentioned. In both instances, there appears to be some
potential for overlap (because e.g., social development in childhood may seem to be
interpersonal as well as personal). The common point, nonetheless, is that there is a continuum
from highly inward to highly outward phenomena.

As a working hypothesis, then, one might expect that psychologically oriented social
psychologists would tend to emphasize the intrapersonal and personal, while sociologically
oriented social psychologists would focus on interpersonal and collective issues. As if to
illustrate this suspected difference, in a volume on the social psychology of emotional and
behavioral problems, Kowalski and Leary (1999) present articles addressing such topics as
attributions, egocentrism, social comparisons, self-regulation, problematic social emotions, selfesteem, and image maintenance. Their book ventures into interpersonal relationships largely in
service of individual mental health (considering e.g., the relationship between group dynamics
and psychological well-being). By contrast, the aforementioned book edited by sociologists
Lindesmith et al. (1991) positions its analysis of various psychological phenomena (e.g.,
emotions, perceptions, motives) under the heading, Social Structure and Language, and then
continues on to the subsequent major headings of Childhood Socialization and of Selves and
Societies, where the latter involves such topics as alienation, gender stratification, and deviance.
Those examples suggest a clarification of the working hypothesis. Arguably, it is not
quite the case that psychological social psychologists simply orient themselves toward the
intrapersonal and personal side of the spectrum, while sociological social psychologists tend to
focus upon more interpersonal and collective phenomena. Those are indeed their general areas
of interest, simplistically put; but it appears that they could concern themselves with phenomena
at any point along the spectrum, depending upon the extent to which they consider those
phenomena relevant to their respective areas of primary concern: the individual who results
from or influences societal phenomena or, alternately, the society that results from or influences
individual phenomena.

In other words, while things often look more interwoven as one examines them more
closely, in this instance the ultimate focus of a given social psychologist might be more
compellingly presented, not as an inevitably fuzzy matter spanning various intrapersonal and
interpersonal spheres, but rather as a potentially sharper tendency to gravitate toward either the
private and the individual or the public and the collective. Hence, to look again at the examples
just provided, Leary (1999) offers a chapter that, while purporting to address both social and
psychological aspects of self-esteem, is eminently concerned with social psychological
assumptions having to do with the experiences and behaviors of the individual. By contrast, the
definition of social psychology offered by Lindesmith et al. (1991, p. 2) begins with a statement
of a reciprocal relationship between individual and society, but then elaborates with propositions
and examples whose orientation is almost exclusively social rather than psychological.
To apply that distinction within the area of leisure research, Mannell and Kleibers (1997)
Social Psychology of Leisure takes the position that The social psychology of leisure focuses
on the individual (p. 25, emphasis in original). Plainly, this sentiment would represent only one
of the two divergent perspectives just identified. One could just as well say that the social
psychology of leisure focuses on the society. As Argyle (1992, p. 127) notes, leisure has been
defined, for some purposes, as the opposite of work since the time of the Industrial Revolution;
and as Kearl and Gordon (1992) illustrate, a discussion of work (and, presumably, of leisure in
the antithesis) can quickly implicate such societal issues as alienation, anomie, bureaucracy, and
consumerism. As further illustration, one who attends a college sports event may find it difficult
to surmise that the social psychology of such a leisure event is best (or even feasibly) attempted
as a simplistic reduction to the level of the discrete participants. An attempt to study social
psychology primarily on the individual level would seem to run contrary to a seeming tendency

toward increased awareness of contexts (on e.g., the cultural level) that frame the stage within
which the individual operates as in, for example, the contemporary awareness that the
researcher, him/herself, is not purely an isolated individual that, rather, there is an
interrelatedness of the investigators social, historical, and cultural situation with the selection
of the phenomena to be studied, the nature of the phenomena under study, the choice of research
method, and the resulting interpretation of the phenomena (Boutilier et al., 1980, p. 14) .
A more accurate statement of the matter may be that the findings that Mannell and
Kleiber (1997) offer, regarding the social psychology of individual leisure, are unavoidably a
product of who they are. Different authors do, of course, produce different outcomes. As people
of an individualistic time and place, Mannell and Kleiber appear to purvey a highly individualoriented concept of social psychology that differs sharply from the holistic group mind
conceptions prevalent among prominent European founders of social psychology (e.g.,
Durkheim) a century ago (cf. Greenwood, 2004, p. 22). The individualist understanding of
social psychology is, by now, so firmly established as to be characterized as the traditional
approach; yet it continues to draw criticism for neglecting important social and cultural
phenomena (see Parr & Lashua, 2004, p. 3; Walker, Deng, & Dieser, 2005; Smith & Bond,
There is thus no question of what the social psychology of leisure really is. It really is
the individual and/or collective result of whatever various authors contribute to the literature,
incorporating whatever small or large collection of topics seems pertinent to them. Naturally,
though, when a term yields an objectionable degree of variation in outcome, there is some
reasonable temptation to refine it or to substitute another in its place. In the spirit of
clarification, then, the topic of the volume presented by Mannell and Kleiber (1997) appears to

be, not precisely the social psychology of leisure, but rather the study of experience and
behavior (p. 26, emphasis in original) of the individual in leisure. Consistent with that
emphasis, their volume presents four main sections, dealing with the nature of social psychology,
leisure and the person, the social context of leisure (which, in that particular book, has to do with
leisure experience and behavior of the individual at various points in his/her lifespan), and the
cultivation of leisure and well-being.
In fairness, Mannell and Kleiber (1997) were not blazing new paths; they present their
view within a previously established tradition in leisure research. Iso-Ahola (1980), in
particular, had similarly defined the social psychology of leisure as
that branch of scientific leisure studies which examines how the feelings,
cognitions (thoughts or beliefs) and behaviors of one individual are influenced by
the feelings, cognitions and behaviors of others during a period of time
subjectively designated as unobligated, free, or leisure. (p. 18)
Hence, Iso-Ahola (1980) focused on such topics as human development, perceptions,
personality, needs and motives, and other intrapersonal phenomena and constructs. But one may
find it refreshing to compare The Social Psychology of Leisure by Oxford social psychologist
Michael Argyle (1996) noting in particular its relative freedom from, and sometime skepticism
toward, such constructs. In contrast to Mannell and Kleibers (1997) uncritical reportage on selfefficacy theory (p. 136), for example, Argyle remarks,
This theory is obviously limited to sports, exercise and other forms of leisure where it is
possible to do well, and in a way that is measurable to some extent. ... However, many
members [of social clubs] dont want to be promoted, and are happy for others to do the
work. And in leisure like watching TV, listening to music, reading and walking,

comkpetence simply doesn't come into it. Self-efficacy theory does not really explain
how self-efficacy works. (p. 176)
Mannell and Kleiber (1997) offer an interesting acknowledgment in their concluding
paragraphs: In fact, to the extent that others arrange activities and experiences for people, there
is a real potential that the perceived freedom and intrinsic motivation which are the preconditions
or foundations of leisure will be undermined. . . . However, it is sometimes necessary to intervene directly and educate for leisure . . . . (pp. 353-354). This acknowledgment carries
further, perhaps, than the authors intended. Ones conditions of employment, neighborhood
characteristics, and sociocultural obligations (and myriad other factors that operate beyond the
level of the individual) can and do promote or undermine those preconditions of leisure; and
those who intervene and educate for leisure include not only the therapeutically oriented
practitioners whom Mannell and Kleiber seem to have had in mind, but also various marketers
and despots who, for their own nontherapeutic reasons spanning many individuals, want to tell
people what to do or how to think. There are more things, within the cosmos that one might call
the social psychology of leisure, than can be dreamt of within an individual-oriented mindset.
Elaborating Upon the Collective Dimension
No doubt there are some instances when it makes sense to refer globally to social
psychology of leisure; but for pedagogical purposes the term may obscure more than it reveals.
Approximately one-half of the entire field could be obscured, if the reader of a volume
discussing solely the experience and behavior of the individual in leisure were to infer,
mistakenly, that s/he was getting an introduction to the whole of what might count as the social
psychology of leisure. If the bullet-point lists of interpersonal and collective topics, above, are
any indication, the missing half would deal with such things as leisure norms, close relationships

in (and as) leisure, discrimination in leisure, group leisure behavior, and leisure movements to
cite a few that receive little to no attention in the Iso-Ahola (1980) or Mannell and Kleiber
(1997) volumes.
Indeed, if the social psychology of leisure if, that is, a discipline arising from the
interaction of the individual and society can be one-sidedly construed as a highly internalistic
interest in emotions and mental states, then, on the opposite extreme, it might equally well be
construed as a highly externalist interest in the operation of the legal system (Baum, 2000) and in
matters of justice and fairness among persons (cf. Montada, 2003) in areas pertaining to leisure.
For instance, a social psychology of leisure might look at the implications, for leisure, of
situations in which community preferences are at odds with legal codes (cf. Darley, Tyler, &
Bilz, 2003) such as when a certain form of leisure activity can proceed only because the police
and/or the district attorney look the other way (when e.g., the teenagers are just blowing off
steam, or when the adults employ discretion in the practice of cockfighting or prostitution).
Surely the operation of the legal system, in areas impinging upon leisure, makes it a suitable
candidate for attention within the study of the social psychology of leisure. Thus, to offer a
potentially provocative example, psychological research into some type of motivation is not
necessarily more relevant, to the social psychology of leisure, than is a lawsuit involving some
form of constitutionally protected freedom, insofar as both are capable of involving personsociety interactions significantly connected with leisure.
If, as indicated above, the individual-oriented perspective on social psychology is fairly
described as being the study of experience and behavior of the individual in leisure, then how
might one term the alternative? Strict parallelism in nomenclature might make it the experience
and behavior of the collective (e.g., group, society, culture, nation) in leisure. Notwithstanding

Mannell and Kleibers phrasing, however, one might hesitate to assume that experience and
behavior are precisely the concepts one wants, even on the individual level. As noted above,
social psychology attends inter alia to mental states and traits. A mental trait is not an
experience; it does not necessarily manifest itself in detectable behavior; and when it does so
manifest itself, its content may be ambiguous. Pending the day when brain scans or other
technologies eliminate all of the guesswork, the study of behavior (and even of experience) may
be to some extent a proxy for what some individually oriented social psychologists actually want
to know, which may be more along the lines of raw capacity or quotient for responsiveness to
leisure of a specified kind.
The rationale for employing a proxy (e.g., behavior) in the individual context for, say,
individual capacity to respond to leisure would not indisputably apply in the collective context,
where the individual brain will probably not be the unit of analysis (where, that is, there may be
no call for using behavior as a proxy to understand internal experience). On the collective level,
concepts other than experience and behavior may come to the fore. Examples of collectively
oriented constructs could include function, role, status, and stratum. Such constructs may have
little meaning on a highly individual level. For instance, the role of an individual within a group
(e.g., family, gang, congregation) may be inscrutable without an understanding of that group, and
likewise the role of a group within its larger community. To refer back to the example of a
lawsuit involving a constitutionally protected freedom, it seems advisable not to let ones
analysis be hamstrung by preconceived notions arising from an individualistic bias. Lawsuits (as
well as finances, logistics, and other features of the workaday world) are not exempt from study,
within the social psychology of leisure not if they plainly do have, say, consequences for

leisure experience. A behaviorist analysis, or even more generally an analysis oriented toward
behavior, could substantially fail to capture the gist of such undertakings.
Facing such examples, it may seem reasonable to contend that there can be no leisure
without an individuals experience of leisure that leisure behavior, preparations for leisure
behavior, lawsuits relating to leisure behavior, and so forth all deserve their references to
leisure only because they derive ultimately from someone, somewhere, who is having a good
time, or at least will be or once was having a good time. This paper cannot undertake an
extensive analysis of the meanings of leisure. But even on a superficial level, it is plain that such
a proposal will not rescue the matter from a definitional slippery slope (cf. Stebbins, 2001).
Leisure, as commonly used, does seem to incorporate serious and even unpleasant activities or
situations. For instance, one may attend a stern and even punitive church in ones leisure time,
or as a leisure activity, or in what one might consider a leisurely (e.g., contemplative) state of
mind (cf. Russell, 2005, p. 34). Leisure does not necessarily require that such activities be
undertaken in preparation for outcomes that, one believes, will be ultimate pleasant unless,
perhaps, the timeline for those anticipated outcomes is allowed to extend to indefinitely remote,
attenuated, and/or vicarious traces of pleasurable experience, such as the long-awaited paradise
of afterlife, the hopefully lessened burdens of future generations, and the imagined epiphanies of
insightful persons who have departed or who will never exist but who, if they were still around,
or if they did exist, would marvel at ones wisdom in mastering skills or taking precautions that
no extant soul seems to appreciate.
The social psychology of leisure likely has broad scope. It clearly extends to the statuses
and activities of groups as well as of individuals. A group, in its free time, or being headed by
individuals who find the thought appealing for some reason, will undertake an activity (or will

indulge inactivity) of a serious or frivolous nature, and will have an experience irreducible to the
varying experiences of its members. The fact that its experience is irreducible below the group
level need not imply that its members participations fail to meet a certain standard. For
example, the group whitewater rafting trip does not cease to be an object for study within the
social psychology of leisure, just because most of its participants happen to have a miserable
time. The story of a lawsuit filed by a parochial school that dislikes the proposed placement of a
halfway house for sexual offenders adjacent to its playground will probably have aspects suited
for scrutiny by a social psychologist of leisure. This would be the case even if, say, the lawsuit is
instigated by a school principal whose waking hours are filled with chores that can scarcely be
considered leisurable, and is filed by a lawyer who personally loathes playgrounds. In such
regards, the institutional stage-setting for some childs actual fun which may never materialize
is not intrinsically different from Moms vacation-planning phone calls from her office, though
of course there are differences when the situation is viewed solely on the level of the individuals.
These remarks suggest that, indeed, there will probably have to be a connection, of some
sort, with a behavior or experience had by individuals, real or anticipated or imagined, that a
threshold number of persons (preferably of the influential variety) within ones audience will
identify as leisure. The penalty for failing that test will not be that a divine lexicographer will
step down and slap ones wrist; it will be simply that the audience will discount ones statements.
But upon meeting that test upon finding someone who will listen a situation may be a proper
subject of study, within the social psychology of leisure, even if such study is preoccupied with
phenomena on the collective level and pays little attention to putatively causative or resulting
experiences or behaviors on the individual level. That is, the connection with individual leisure
experience could be highly derivative and yet could still be considered as falling within the scope

of the social psychology of leisure. Plans to create a park, for instance, may be amenable to
treatment within the social psychology of leisure, even if the planning process cluelessly fails to
envision how people might use that particular space in that particular place. Indeed, the web of
institutions meriting inclusion in a study of person-society interactions, connected with that park,
may include a vendor for whom the sole cognitive significance of the word park is that the
relevant employee, in that vendors office, recognizes park as being part of the name of the
customer that is supposed to get a truckload of gravel dumped in its driveway. Such situations
are potentially relevant, not only as evidence of sins of omission (as when e.g., some
cluelessness stems from discriminatory neglect of a planned parks likely users), but as bare
evidence of leisure-related social patterns in their own right.
These, however, are definitional extremes to which one may rarely need to go. The
importance of a paying audience for ones social psychological speculations is not to be
underestimated. In practice, the extreme of social psychology, on the collective side, tends to be
inhabited by critical social psychologists. In that vein, as noted above, Wexler (1996) suggests
that the important work in social psychology has to do with such matters as collective suffering,
capitalist theory, and social life. In support of the foregoing criticism of Mannell and Kleiber
(1997) (i.e., that one who assumes they are presenting a full introduction of the social
psychology of leisure may be kept unaware of this institutional dimension within the field),
Wexler states that traditional social psychology increasingly functions as an occluding strategy,
a weapon of social ignorance, a defense against the potential popular grasping of the relation
between everyday life and collective social organization; it ultimately becomes so
transparently ideological . . . that it calls forth ideology-critiques as the only suitable intellectual
response (p. 15). Less polemically, but with comparable potential to pose questions for

traditional social psychology, numerous writers (e.g., Kearl & Gordon, 1992; Wiggins, Wiggins,
& Vander Zanden, 1994; Martin & Hewstone, 2003) cite research into questions of control,
power, and influence. Such questions can be applied to academic enterprises (to e.g., university
departments and textbooks devoted to social psychology) as readily as to any other (cf.
Popkewitz, 1990; Fuller, 2004).
A predominantly psychological treatment of social psychology tends to make the latter
into a province of the former, underserving significant social aspects in the process. Social
psychology entails study of interactions and influences operating in both directions between
discrete and collective entities. This paper has treated entities, on the discrete side, as consisting
solely of individual persons, though theoretically multipersonal entities (e.g., the parental
subsystem) can function as discrete entities, for these purposes, insofar as they represent
individuals experiences or behaviors in interactions with other entities (e.g., the children in the
back seat). On the collective side, the unit of analysis may be the society at large, but may also
include community, culture, school, workplace, extended family, gang, and other formal and
informal organizations and institutions. Discrete-collective interactions may be usefully
characterized, on the side of the individual, in terms of experience or behavior, though preferably
with awareness that such terms (especially in the case of behavior) may be proxies for an
underlying interest in presently unascertainable data regarding, say, individual capacity for a
certain kind of experience. Characterizations in terms of experience or behavior may sometimes
be less useful on the collective side, particularly where their use represents an anthropomorphizing extension from the study of individuals; characterizations in terms of function, status, and
process may sometimes be more to the point.

The social psychology of leisure, in particular, may reasonably accommodate discretecollective interactions that pertain to leisure, not only in terms of the present or anticipated
private experience of something definable as leisure, but also in terms of the actions or, equally
well, the functions, processes, and structures of multiperson entities, as they pertain to leisure.
Just as behaviorism was able to qualify as a form of psychology without expressing interest in
thoughts and emotions, so also a social psychology of leisure can examine person-society
interactions, beginning from the social side, with an interest in how the processes and structures
of institutions enhance or retard the possibility of leisure experience, for example, quite aside
from whether such possibilities actually materialize in anyones experience or behavior.

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