Work Package 4.3
Start date: April 2016
End date: March 2018
This project will utilise a mixed methods approach, combining a strategic review of existing survey data with ethnographic observation and interviews to make a timely and original contribution to understanding the benefits of ‘serious leisure’ in retirement for the individual and for the wider communities of which they are part.
In order to address the stipulated research questions, an approach will be employed which blends a strategic review of existing survey data with ethnographic observation and interviews. The setting for the research will be in mid-Wales.
A systematic review of the survey data will last for 3 months, and aims to provide a strong indication of the broader significance of serious leisure in older age in respect to a wide range of activities and geographical areas. Subsequent to the production of this literature review a series of 4 in-depth case studies will be undertaken: one of which will focus on a rural place-based community (Newtown, Powys t.b.c); one of which will focus on the activities of a community of practise (to be confirmed in conjunction with SportWales); and two institutional sites managed by charitable organizations and where volunteers contribute a range of functions (Llanerchaeron Mansion, National Trust, Ceredigion, and the National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire). These case studies have been selected on the basis that they represent a range of spaces (territorial and functional) in which serious leisure is variously engaged with by the over 60s.
Each of the 4 case studies will last for the duration of 5 months, with each researcher taking primary responsibility for the data collection undertaken in 2 sites. This will involve a mixture of participant observation and interviewing, which will provide for a thorough exploration of the informants’ involvement in serious leisure, the purpose of their engagements and value attached to their activities. A detailed fieldwork diary will be maintained, which will incorporate accounts of conversations, surroundings and events, and each researcher will work with participants in creating an audio-visual account of the work being undertaken. In this way the seasonal activities undertaken within each site will be documented and allied to the varied contributions of volunteers.