Unit 7: Taboo Recreation • Why study taboo recreation? • Classifying taboo recreation activities • Theoretical explanations • The “Dilemma of Goodness” If leisure can enhance someone’s life, can it also destroy life? Close to 100% of high school students have tried alcohol. 1,811,000 arrests for DUI yearly. Unauthorized gambling represents about 28% of total gambling market….21,000 arrests. 111,400 people arrested annually for prostitution. 326,000 people arrested annually for vandalism. Taboo Recreation Taboo recreation can be defined as those pastimes that are forbidden by law, custom or belief – Each society has values, norms, and morals that define what is considered deviant Deviance can be defined as any behavior that is different from what is socially accepted in any given society Social Taboos Taboos differ in societies and also change over time Can you think of any social taboos that some don’t think are right? – Salary – Clothing – Dancing – Religion Purple Recreation Defined as “those activities and interests indulged in by youth and adults during non-work, non-study free time that do not fall within the parameters of what society generally views as wholesome or good” (Curtis, 1988) The color purple represents the shaded area of moonlight that is neither white light nor black shadow. It is the half area between. The Curtis Scale Extreme Extreme Positive Negative “BAD” Pre-meditated murder, Torture, brutality to aged or disabled, incest, sodomy Neutral “GOOD” Generosity, pure love brotherhood, total selflessness The Nash Pyramid Taboo Recreation Labels from the Nash Pyramid Injuring Self: the harm from the activity is mainly to those who participate. – Substance Abuse – Compulsive overuse Can “good” behaviors or activities be “bad” if they become compulsive? What type of leisure behaviors or activities can you identify as compulsive? – Gambling? – Lotteries? – Bingo? Taboo Recreation Labels from the Nash Pyramid Injuring Others: antisocial acts or crimes with victims… behaviors that injure others. – Vandalism for fun – Taboo sex – Vandalism types: Malicious vandalism • Self-expression vandalism Thrill vandalism • Spin-off vandalism The Golden Mean & Moderation Aristotle taught us that good actions could be defined by exercising the “golden mean” The “golden mean” is the point of moderation between any two extremes Examples: drinking alcohol & eating A life of good action, lived according to the golden mean, will bring the greatest happiness Why do people engage in unacceptable behaviors? – Leisure participation goes up, boredom goes down – Leisure satisfaction goes up, boredom goes down – Social, sport participation, outdoor recreation and reading work best to reduce boredom – Many purple recreation experiences also provide thrills and challenges Leisure’s Potential for Anomie Anomie: a lack of purpose and identity in a person or a society resulting in the demise of formerly useful social norms – Examples: Sports Spectating Adolescent behavior Leisure’s Potential for Differential Association Differential Association: delinquent behavior is learned through interaction with others in intimate personal groups. – Example: Youth gangs Retreatist Lifestyles Retreatist Lifestyle --choosing to live in a way that differs from dominant social norms as a matter of personal expression. – Examples: Communes Drugs & sexual experimentation The Dilemma of Goodness Is leisure only leisure when it is good or moral? What about recreation? The hedonistic error Dustin’s standard of goodness: “Recreation rightly understood is a matter of virtuous conduct” Standards of Goodness “Things are good when they contribute to our physical and mental health, our sense of being loved and loving, our feelings of belonging and self-esteem and ultimately our personal growth and development. Things that work against the fulfillment of these needs are bad for us no matter how pleasurable they might be.” Dustin, 1986 Standards of Goodness “A thing is right when it intends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the … community of life. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Aldo Leopold Implications of Recreation as Virtuous Conduct We can educate ourselves and others We must remember that in order for an act to be virtuous, a person must choose for themselves Recreation providers should be conscious about ethical behaviors and educate clients accordingly Final Thoughts How could knowing about the relationship between leisure and deviance make a difference? How can the theories and research presented here equip you to live a more satisfying life? Could this information make you a better citizen? What would you teach your children to prepare them for difficult choices they may face? What do you wish you had known, or understood, earlier in life about taboo recreation?