The growing number of volunteers in the heritage sector indicates a desire for a leisure experience by pursuing a subject interest with like-minded people. Millar and others have suggested that volunteers are the `ultimate frequent visitors', and as the day visitor market for museums and heritage attractions declines, this paper offers the repositioning of `heritage visiting' from day visits to longer term connections with particular heritage attractions via volunteering. It draws on Stebbins's concept of serious leisure as a way of reading museum volunteering as a leisure practice and argues that museum volunteering is a way of practising heritage as leisure that is `self-generated', with museum volunteers active in constructing their own identities. According to the concept of `serious leisure', museum volunteers become part of a social world inhabited by those knowledgeable about heritage and history. The paper concludes by examining the adequacy of Stebbins's P-A-P system for analysing the power relations between museum professionals and volunteers in the museum social world.
- Serious Leisure
- United Kingdom