This sixth edition reflects almost 40 years of scholarship as well as professional and personal practice in recreation, parks, and tourism. The text has become one of the most widely adopted titles in university courses worldwide. In this new edition of the book, the phenomenon of leisure is presented through new research findings and contemporary societal dilemmas to suggest that leisure is one of the most interesting, relevant, and exciting subjects of study today. The book reflects a wide range of material from the disciplines of leisure studies, sociology, psychology, economics, political science, anthropology, geography, the humanities, and media and cultural studies. Indeed, more than a textbook, this is very much a point of view. Leisure is presented as a human phenomenon that is individual and collective, vital and frivolous, historical and contemporary, factual and subjective, and good and bad. As a learning tool, this sixth edition teaches more. It contains updated and new illustrations of concepts through field-based cases, biographical features, exploratory activities, and research studies. In the first part, leisure is defined as a condition of humanity. Its meanings are traced through the humanities and history, as well as in todays connotations. The benefits of leisure are presented, ranging from freedom to pleasure to risk to spirituality, and leisures benefit to healthful well-being is demonstrated. As well, part one of the text presents theories for explaining leisure behavior. Part Two discusses leisure as a cultural mirror -- its societal context. Chapters include leisure and anthropology, geography, technology, popular culture, and taboo recreation. Finally, in Part Three, the functional side of leisure is explored in terms of its instrumental relationship to work, money, time, and equity. Leisure systems of public, private, and commercial sponsorship are described to confirm leisures utility. Instructor resources and a website for student resources available.