Bonsai in the time of COVID The miniature, the social and the solitary

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Yazdan Mansourian


The study sought to find out to what extent engagement with serious leisure, in this case, bonsai growing, can help people deal with challenging times, such as a global pandemic. In particular, how bonsai enthusiasts use their hobbies to manage uncertainty and stress during the lockdown and how they have shared their lived experiences on this topic via social media. The researcher employed a user-generated contents analysis approach to address the questions and explored a collection of comments from a sample of the most visited bonsai videos posted during the pandemic. The serious leisure perspective has been used as a theoretical framework to conceptualise the data based on the qualities that differentiate serious leisure from casual leisure. The findings showed that engagement in this hobby helps bonsai enthusiasts to develop social connectedness and cope with their stress caused by the pandemic.

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