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Social Exchange Processes in Leisure and Non-leisure Settings: A Review and Exploratory Investigation

Christopher J. Auld, Alan J. Case


Social interaction is among the most frequently reported reasons for participation in leisure. However, little is known about the nature of social interaction processes in leisure settings and whether these are different than those occurring in non-leisure contexts (or if they vary in different leisure contexts).  This paper examines the potential contributions of social exchange theory to the study of leisure behaviour, and presents the results of an exploratory investigation which utilized social exchange theory to examine resource exchange occurring in both leisure and non-leisure settings. Overall differences in perceptions about resource exchange in leisure and non-leisure contexts existed among respondents, and males and females had different perceptions of the resource exchange occurring in a leisure setting. The results suggest that social exchange theory provides a promising means to develop further understanding of the social aspects of leisure behaviour and, in turn, assist the continuing formulation of leisure theory through integration with other theoretical approaches.


Social exchange theory, social interaction, leisure behaviour

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