The results of our hobby definition workshop are in! Here are the hobby characteristics noted across the three sections of Hobby Histories:

  • Not primary income source
  • Repetitive
  • Purposeful
  • Fun
  • Open-ended activity
  • Non-professional
  • Internal motivation
  • Generally low barrier for entry
  • Skill-building
  • Potentially social

I have synthesized these points into the following definition:

“hobby,” n. Draft 1. (9/1)

A hobby is a non-professional, open-ended activity done for fun. While hobbies involve an element of skill-building, the barrier for entry is typically low: any interested person with the capability to engage in a hobby may do so. To count as a hobby, an activity must be performed with some degree of regularity over a period of time. While not all hobbyists seek the company of other hobbyists, shared communities typically develop around the practice of hobbies.

 Draft 2. (9/6)

A hobby is a non-professional, open-ended recreational activity performed regularly over a period time.  While hobbies involve an element of skill-building, expertise is not a prerequisite for participation in a hobby.

Categories: Uncategorized