Title: Leisure activity
Authors: Verhoeven, Jef
Issue Date: 1968
Publisher: Ministerie van Nederlandse Cultuur
Host Document: Adult Education and Leisure pages:24-39
Abstract: When, in 1963, the first broad survey was made of the leisure time budget and the ways in which leisure time is spent, this was not really the first time sociologists in Flanders had tackled this subject. Their various surveys had however been limited to small geographical units or to particular categories of the population. The 1963 survey was thus the first to cover the whole of Dutch-speaking Belgium, and to analyse how leisure time is spent. The survey was held at the request of the Minister for Dutch Culture. A second large survey was made in January-February 1965, but this investigation was solely concemed with the way leisure time is spent at week-ends during the winter. Both surveys were conducted by research workers from the 'Centrum voor Sociologisch Onderzoek' of Leuven University, under Professor F. van Mechelen.
The population considered for both surveys was made up of all Dutch-speaking Belgians, aged 21 to 65, who do not live either in the Walloon part of the country or in the,Brussels metropolitan area (1). In the 1965 survey, the scope was even more restricted, affecting only heads of families who met the above-mentioned requirements. In these two universes which differ to a certain extent from each other, representative samples were made. In the earlier survey, 2.000 people were selected by using random numbers, and 1.818 reliable interviews conducted, on the basis of a structuralized questionnaire.
In the more recent survey, the same method was followed, but only 1.000 people were tested and 969 of these tests were used for the computation of the results. The sample had been devised according to identical principles in the two surveys.
The number of local communities covered by the survey had been restricted in 1963 tot 125, and they had been selected in proportion to the number of municipalities belonging to five geographical types per province. In 1965, the survey was restricted to 100 communities. The other criteria remained substantially the same with one smal! difference : in 1963 five geographical types of communities were considered : the large town, the small town, the semi-industrial, the less rural and the rural type, while in 1965 four were chosen : the large town, the town, the urbanized countryside and the countryside. The urbanized countryside more or less corresponds to the semi-industrial and the less rural type.
The aim of these surveys was not to give a sociological explanation of .the various ways of spending leisure time. The surveys only sought to find out how various social categories behaved during their spare time. The main object of the surveys was descriptive. Which social categories were examined ? The investigators turned their attention primarily to the various social categories, broken down according to sex, geographical environment, age, profession and educational level.
The actual object of the survey can be summed up in the following three questions :
1. How does the adult, still active Fleming spend his time ? 2. How does he spend his spare time ? 3. How would he really like to spend his spare time ? Although these questions provide only a limited approach to the problem of leisure time, it is obvious that even this limited list of questions can hardly be answered fully. The present paper will therefore confine itself to the main facets of the object of this survey.
Publication status: accepted
KU Leuven publication type: AHb
Appears in Collections:Centre for Sociological Research

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