Positive Leisure Science
The book will integrate different approaches on leisure research, from individual and subjective experiences to social contexts. The main general aim is to show, based on scientific research, that leisure can be an experience, activity or context that improves human strengths and resources contributing to the well being of individuals and societies. We want a book aimed to show scientific research on this particular domain – leisure – being presented topics directly or indirectly related to this positive leisure science. Although based on different topics (populations and even methodologies), all chapters should have a common purpose making them related to this common thematic and scientific goal, which is by itself expressed the aim of this book. We would like to have a collection of articulated chapters concerning aims and contents of the book and not only a collection of independent contributions.
Since the 80’s and 90’s positive approaches have emerged in the study of human functioning. In Psychology, in particular, this movement has increased in academic as well as in applied settings, showing its relevance in a variety of human and social domains focused in the improvement of individuals and societies, throughout everyday life. In the present moment different researchers in different scientific domains are investigating new variables (from individuals and/or contexts) that can contribute to a worthy life. Leisure is one of the most ancient issues with recognized positive impact in the life of individuals and societies. As a state of mind or as a state of societal structures, leisure can be considered a complex scientific laboratory where a complex range of variables are of scientific interest in order to understand human behavior and its relations with life contexts. Leisure can be a lab for studying different populations, life contexts, using different methodologies and measures to collect data. As an applied field, it is possible to study a great range of variables about human behavior. Within this purpose we want this book covers a wide range of topics, reflecting all the current and relevant issues that are emerging throughout scientific fields focused on human research.
Although this recognized positive role of leisure in human life, scientific research focused on this positivity of leisure is not yet enough developed or intentionality published. Several scientific meetings (at least in Psychology domain) have been held with a strong evidence on the diversity of topics, but where leisure is not yet one of the main research lines being considered in the definition of a positive science. This justifies our main title: “Positive leisure science”.
Thus, this book will try to do this first step of integrating different and honored contributions from researchers that are trying to produce knowledge about optimizing socio-cognitive processes and behaviors, places and contexts, societies and cultures. This justifies our subtitle about leisure science: “From individual experience to social contexts”. We want to produce scientific knowledge about everyday life, because it is in daily life, within the interactions between individuals and their contexts and environments that individual experiences or life trajectories are structured and social goals and purposes are defined. Positive life trajectories require these interactions and to know how to maximize them, in order to enhance resources and strengths, is one of the scientific goals associated to the study of leisure.
Promotes new reflections and a new focus of analysisShows the positive impact of leisure as a main source of optimized human development and well-beingIntegrates the study of different populations and life contexts across the life courseBrings together researchers from various scientific fields across different countries