Recreation is a term applied to approved uses of leisure and ways of spending free time. Recreation (the concept) belongs to a family of words. Its relatives include games, play, sports, leisure, pastimes, arts, and hobbies. Today, recreation as a concept is in the doldrums. Academics have decided implicitly that the term has ceased to do useful work. They rarely use it, except when writing about times past or as a value-neutral descriptor of particular sets of leisure activities, mainly physical recreation and outdoor recreation. Politicians rarely use the term recreation in their speeches, and public agencies rarely have it in their titles. They prefer to associate conceptually (and ideologically) with sports, the arts, heritage, and culture. Commerce does not use recreation in its advertising. ...

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