Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 132

Full Length Research Paper

Participant observation research of a Korean basketball club as a leisure and culture community: With a focus on self-identity

Jae-Min Lee
  • Jae-Min Lee
  • Department of Contents Convergence, Research Center for Creativity, Andong National University, Korea.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 30 December 2016
  •  Accepted: 01 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 May 2017


This study comprises a participant observation of a Korean basketball club as a leisure culture community. The study developed a theoretical discussion using the symbolic interactions of Mead. The SPADE basketball club was selected for case study. Research methods took advantage of participant observation and in-depth interviews, among different qualitative research methods. The members of the basketball club were analyzed in terms of how the activities of basketball clubs have a positive social effect and contribute to the formation of self-identity. The members of the basketball club formed a new social relationship because of its activities, which was a very positive outcome. It is clear from the analysis that the members believe that they have a role to play within the club and they are expecting others. Subsequently, it was found that these club activities realized self-identity as a serious leisure culture. They invested much time and money and continued their leisure activities despite the occurrence of injury and suffering, thus realizing self-identity as a serious leisure culture. However, there is the possibility that this may lead to leisure addiction, such as being hindered by the activities of the club through the activity of the club.


Key words: Serious leisure culture, basketball club activity, symbolic interactionism, identity, qualitative research.