Unemployment, Personality, and Involvement in Sport

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Klaus Heinemann Universität Hamburg

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This paper involves an investigation of the extent to which the leisure-time activities of individuals are tied to work and occupation. Primary attention is focused on how unemployment affects involvement in sport. An analysis of data collected in a 6-month study of 2,500 West German women leads to the conclusion that sports involvement is embedded in a social evaluation of work and leisure time. Sport involvement presupposes a specific personal and social identity, and is linked with a feeling of self-confidence to a specific body concept and time consciousness. What our ideas clarify is that the variability of personality disposition is shaped by situational factors; occupation and work, among other factors, are stabilizing influences. This stability can deteriorate among the unemployed if it is not secured by alternative roles. When stability deteriorates, sport involvement tends to decline.

Direct all correspondence to Klaus Heinemann, Institut für Soziologie, Universität Hamburg, Sedanstr. 19, D-2000 Hamburg 13, W. Germany.
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