Museum Volunteering: Heritage as 'Serious Leisure'


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Orr, N. (2006) Museum Volunteering: Heritage as 'Serious Leisure' International Journal or Heritage Studies, 12 (2). pp. 194-210. ISSN 1470-3610

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The growing number of volunteers in the heritage sector indicates a desire for a leisure experience by pursuing a subject interest with like-minded people. Millar and others have suggested that volunteers are the `ultimate frequent visitors', and as the day visitor market for museums and heritage attractions declines, this paper offers the repositioning of `heritage visiting' from day visits to longer term connections with particular heritage attractions via volunteering. It draws on Stebbins's concept of serious leisure as a way of reading museum volunteering as a leisure practice and argues that museum volunteering is a way of practising heritage as leisure that is `self-generated', with museum volunteers active in constructing their own identities. According to the concept of `serious leisure', museum volunteers become part of a social world inhabited by those knowledgeable about heritage and history. The paper concludes by examining the adequacy of Stebbins's P-A-P system for analysing the power relations between museum professionals and volunteers in the museum social world.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: History; Heritage; Visitors; Volunteers; Serious Leisure; United Kingdom
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L312 Travel and Tourism
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology
L000 Social Sciences > L900 Cultural Studies
L000 Social Sciences > L600 Anthropology
L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1080/13527250500496169
Faculties: Faculty of Education and Sport > Chelsea School
Depositing User: Chelsea editor
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2010 11:36

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