Robert A. Stebbins

Robert A. Stebbins
Year Elected ALS Fellow: 
Highest Degree: 
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1964
Current Position: 
Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary

Dr. Stebbins, FRSC, before his present post at Calgary, also taught at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Texas at Arlington.

He served as President of the Social Science Federation of Canada in 1991-1992, after having served as President of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association in 1988-1989.

Stebbins was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1999); Senior Fellow of the World Leisure Academy (2010); and Alumni Member, Phi Beta Kappa Society, Macalester College Chapter (2011).

His research interests include humor, work, leisure, the work and leisure dimensions of deviance, and the leisure basis of francophone communities outside Quebec.

He has published or in press over 260 articles and chapters, as well as 52 books.

Most of his work in leisure studies has centered on serious and casual leisure (terms he coined in 1982), as expressed in research dating from 1973 on amateurs (actors, magicians, musicians, archaeologists, astronomers, baseball and football players, and stand-up comics), hobbyists (barbershop singers, cultural tourists, kayakers, mountain climbers, snowboarders, gardeners, readers), and career volunteers (mentors, urban francophones).

Work in these areas completed before 1992 is summarized and theoretically elaborated in Amateurs, Professionals, and Serious Leisure (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992).

More recent books include Between Work and Leisure (Transaction, 2004/2014); Serious Leisure (Transaction, 2007/2015); Leisure and Consumption: Common Ground, Separate Worlds (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); Personal Decisions in the Public Square: Beyond Problem Solving into a Positive Sociology (Transaction, 2009); Serious Leisure and Nature (Palgrave Macmillan, 201, with Lee Davidson); and The Idea of Leisure (Transaction, 2012).

Also of interest are The Committed Reader (Scarecrow, 2013); Planning your Time in Retirement (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013); Careers in Serious Leisure: From Dabbler to Devotee in Search of Fulfillment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); Leisure and Positive Psychology: Activities Linked with Positiveness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); The Interrelationship between Play and Leisure  (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); Leisure Activities in Context: A Micro-Macro/Agency-Structure Interpretation of Leisure (Transaction, 2017); Leisure’s Legacy: Challenging the Common Sense View of  Free Time (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).