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The evolution of leisure studies in North America and South Korea a study of cultural consensus.

by 1967- Shim, Jae-Myung

Abstract (Summary)
There has been considerable development of the academic area of leisure studies in North America. The volume of scholarly research and writing has increased, and departments of leisure studies have played an increasingly important role in serving as a home for this traditionally multidisciplinary subject. In South Korea, leisure studies is a newer, developing academic area. With the adoption of the five-day workweek and increased public recognition of the importance of leisure, the field is expected to grow in the region. The purpose of this study is to examine the comparative evolution of leisure studies in North America and South Korea. The study was undertaken using cultural consensus analysis. Cultural consensus, or lack of it, might well serve as an indicator of the stage of development of leisure studies: in other words, if a discipline becomes more mature or established, there will be a greater level of cultural consensus among the scholars of the field. The term, cultural consensus analysis (or cultural consensus theory), then, refers to a formalization of such a conceptualization that agreement between individuals is a function of shared knowledge of the correct answer, and, therefore, by knowing the pattern of agreement, the culturally correct answer can be inferred. The study comprised two rounds of surveys, both of which were conducted via e-mail. In the first survey, called freelisting, items constituting each cultural domain thought to be involved in leisure studies were identified. In the second, respondents were asked to rate the components identified in the previous freelisting on five-point scales. Forty three North American and thirty three Korean leisure scholars participated in both or either surveys. Analysis of the data included three sections. First, content analysis was undertaken with responses obtained from the freelisting. Secondly, the respondent iii rating was described using simple statistics such as mean of the rating scores (1-5 scales) for each variable and, when necessary, paired t-tests. The two sets of analysis revealed diverse findings, often comparable, but sometimes substantially different. The discrepancies in results between the two methods need further explanation. Finally, cultural consensus analysis was performed using ANTHROPAC (Borgatti, 1992). The results showed that the North American leisure scholars had consensus in more areas, usually at higher levels than Korean scholars, and also the former group exhibited less negative individual knowledge scores than the latter. These findings suggest that, overall, there is a more cohesive leisure studies culture in North America than in Korea. It was speculated that such circumstances in North America as a longer history of leisure studies (programs) and the presence of institutions in leisure such as, among others, the Society of Park and Recreation Educators (SPRE) and an accreditation system in university leisure programs, could have contributed to developing a homogeneous culture in the field. Answer keys of those domains where consensus was found are also presented: to name one, health, gerontology, and tourism are areas that will increase in importance in the field in North America. This study might be important in its exploratory role for future studies, raising some questions to be investigated in the future such that how the developmental stage of a disciplinary field is related with cultural consensus, what types of intracultural variability exist within a leisure studies and why, what is the implication of having cultural consensus within the field, and so on. iv
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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