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Title:Leisure Meanings in a Rural Community of Costa Rica
Author(s):Molina, German Enrique
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Garry E. Chick
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:What leisure meant to a group of people in a rural community of Costa Rica was explored using cultural consensus and phenomenological methods of analyses. The denotative and connotative meanings of leisure were studied as they pertained to twelve research participants characterized as adults, adolescents, males, and females (i.e., the research subgroups). The participants considered that "diversion," was the most relevant denotation of leisure. In agreement with the social existential perspective of leisure, they interpreted that the word "diversion" represented a unity of action and enjoyment. Among thirty-two connotative meanings identified, to know oneself, to feel love, and self-closeness to nature were the most important dimensions with regard to leisure, across all research subgroups. The participants considered that to know oneself was important because it implied being aware of one's competency level or capability. To feel love was important given that leisure experiences often involved affectionate relationships and because love helped to achieve intended aims. Self-closeness to nature was considered important given that the corresponding leisure experience(s) implied derived a sense of selfawareness, tranquillity, novelty, or discovery. All findings were consistent with previous leisure research findings. To feel healthy and to feel capable were highly valued with regard to their leisure importance among the adults, whereas the adolescents rated spontaneity highest. These results were consistent with theories that focus on the meaningfulness of leisure experiences and life course influences. The males valued highly meeting and helping others with regard to leisure. I argued that these results could be explained by the fact that for gender-based cultural reasons, males in Latin America have more opportunities for social participation and communication. The female informants gave a higher value to spontaneity as leisure meaning. I argued that these results could be explained by the fact that Latinas have a larger need to express themselves and to act on their own choice in leisure situations (relative to the Latinos) due to gender-based cultural barriers. Based on these results, I presented various recommendations to improve leisure planning in Santa Elena and for future research on leisure meanings.
Issue Date:1999
Description:228 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9944940
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1999

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