Primarily Speaking

Recreation must be action-based–even competitive–to qualify as a legitimate way to spend one’s resources (time, energy, money). While softball, soccer, volleyball and tennis leagues and tournaments promote teamwork, respect for opponents and goal-oriented thinking, the development of true friendship and camaraderie among participants may be only a happy coincidence, not the intended result. When the attitude is “Just win, baby,” the competitive aspect trumps an activity’s social potential. In contrast, the concept known as “social recreation” (Ford, 1974, in Edginton, …

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