Punch S, Russell Z & Graham E (2022) Serious Leisure Experience in a Dyadic Pursuit: Elite Player Motivations and Participation in Tournament Bridge. Leisure Studies, 41 (1), pp. 12-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2021.1942524
International, elite level tournament bridge is a unique context to explore the dynamics of serious leisure experience. This paper presents sociological research of participation and motivations in a dyadic serious pursuit, understood through the lens of the serious leisure perspective (SLP) and complementary approaches of social worlds and leisure experiences. Qualitative interviews with 52 elite bridge players from the USA and Europe, suggest that the rewards of winning, competition, thrill and flow are worthy of more consideration in the serious leisure perspective. Motivations and participation in elite bridge involve individual and interpersonal dynamics and agency whilst being shaped by wider structural constraints. The motivations of professionals and amateurs are contextually specific and shaped in relation to career contingencies and turning points. This elite social world illustrates that the serious pursuit category of the SLP can encompass both serious leisure amateurs and professional devotee workers. An exploration of the rewards, costs and constraints of elite bridge offers empirical insights that can inform a multi-paradigmatic approach to understanding complex leisure experience.
bridge; leisure experience; dyadic leisure; serious leisure perspective
Leisure Studies: Volume 41, Issue 1