Who is answering the call? Volunteer firefighting as serious leisure

Careen Mackay Yarnal, Lorraine Dowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explores the meaning of the serious leisure experience for volunteer firefighters. The 70,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania are the basis of this study. Volunteer firefighting contrasts with other serious leisure pursuits examined to date in two ways. First, individuals are involved in a highly visible, emotionally charged public service involving life and death situations. Second, volunteer firefighters are simultaneously volunteers, amateurs, and professionals. Within this nexus, being a volunteer is marked by both obligation and ambiguity, creating dynamic tensions that must constantly be negotiated. Giving freely of their time to perform "double duty" beyond their roles as employees, family and community members, society thinks of them as professionals and holds them to professional standards. In reality they are unpaid, voluntary amateurs. The resulting haziness concerning the value of volunteer firefighters as social capital has significant implications for future recruitment and retention numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-189
Number of pages29
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Volume27
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Fingerprint

amateur
social capital
public service
obligation
employee
death
community
Values
experience
family
society
Volunteers
Leisure
time
Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Cite this

Yarnal, Careen Mackay ; Dowler, Lorraine. / Who is answering the call? Volunteer firefighting as serious leisure. In: Leisure/ Loisir. 2002 ; Vol. 27, No. 3-4. pp. 161-189.
@article{1f1d570259c341f9b9c5f94253266770,
title = "Who is answering the call? Volunteer firefighting as serious leisure",
abstract = "This study explores the meaning of the serious leisure experience for volunteer firefighters. The 70,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania are the basis of this study. Volunteer firefighting contrasts with other serious leisure pursuits examined to date in two ways. First, individuals are involved in a highly visible, emotionally charged public service involving life and death situations. Second, volunteer firefighters are simultaneously volunteers, amateurs, and professionals. Within this nexus, being a volunteer is marked by both obligation and ambiguity, creating dynamic tensions that must constantly be negotiated. Giving freely of their time to perform {"}double duty{"} beyond their roles as employees, family and community members, society thinks of them as professionals and holds them to professional standards. In reality they are unpaid, voluntary amateurs. The resulting haziness concerning the value of volunteer firefighters as social capital has significant implications for future recruitment and retention numbers.",
author = "Yarnal, {Careen Mackay} and Lorraine Dowler",
year = "2002",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/14927713.2002.9651302",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "161--189",
journal = "Leisure/ Loisir",
issn = "1492-7713",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3-4",

}

Who is answering the call? Volunteer firefighting as serious leisure. / Yarnal, Careen Mackay; Dowler, Lorraine.

In: Leisure/ Loisir, Vol. 27, No. 3-4, 01.01.2002, p. 161-189.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Who is answering the call? Volunteer firefighting as serious leisure

AU - Yarnal, Careen Mackay

AU - Dowler, Lorraine

PY - 2002/1/1

Y1 - 2002/1/1

N2 - This study explores the meaning of the serious leisure experience for volunteer firefighters. The 70,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania are the basis of this study. Volunteer firefighting contrasts with other serious leisure pursuits examined to date in two ways. First, individuals are involved in a highly visible, emotionally charged public service involving life and death situations. Second, volunteer firefighters are simultaneously volunteers, amateurs, and professionals. Within this nexus, being a volunteer is marked by both obligation and ambiguity, creating dynamic tensions that must constantly be negotiated. Giving freely of their time to perform "double duty" beyond their roles as employees, family and community members, society thinks of them as professionals and holds them to professional standards. In reality they are unpaid, voluntary amateurs. The resulting haziness concerning the value of volunteer firefighters as social capital has significant implications for future recruitment and retention numbers.

AB - This study explores the meaning of the serious leisure experience for volunteer firefighters. The 70,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania are the basis of this study. Volunteer firefighting contrasts with other serious leisure pursuits examined to date in two ways. First, individuals are involved in a highly visible, emotionally charged public service involving life and death situations. Second, volunteer firefighters are simultaneously volunteers, amateurs, and professionals. Within this nexus, being a volunteer is marked by both obligation and ambiguity, creating dynamic tensions that must constantly be negotiated. Giving freely of their time to perform "double duty" beyond their roles as employees, family and community members, society thinks of them as professionals and holds them to professional standards. In reality they are unpaid, voluntary amateurs. The resulting haziness concerning the value of volunteer firefighters as social capital has significant implications for future recruitment and retention numbers.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85010905320&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85010905320&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/14927713.2002.9651302

DO - 10.1080/14927713.2002.9651302

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 161

EP - 189

JO - Leisure/ Loisir

JF - Leisure/ Loisir

SN - 1492-7713

IS - 3-4

ER -