A Sociosemiotic Approach of experienced and Desired Leisure. Young People Express Themselves Through Images.

Anastasia Christodoulou, Eleni Kartsaka, Argyris Kyridis


Young people are society’s driving force. They build the future and ensure its cultural, historical and biological continuity. Given the important role they play, their ability to manage their own leisure time is especially significant as regards its impact on society. A person’s leisure is a concept whose dimensions and boundaries are constantly in flux. It is part of everyday life, a form of personal expression and self-fulfillment, and its use may have a positive or negative impact on a person and their environment (Ghikopoulos & Christodoulou, 2007; Myrizakis, 1997). The aim of this research is to explore the manner in which adolescents perceive the experienced and desired limits to their own leisure time. More specifically, the study focused on the artistic (paintings and drawings) and verbal (accompanying written texts) codes that young people use to describe the limits of two living conditions, the leisure that they experience and the leisure that they desire. The artistic code was chosen in addition to the verbal code because these days, particularly where young people are concerned, images prevail (Willinsky, 1990). Socio-semiotics is chosen as the tool of analysis, since artistic creation, as an interpretation of the concept ‘image’, is a metalanguage, a dynamic channel that young people use to convey leisure time messages (Danesi, 2000; Halliday, 1978; Randviir & Cobley 2010). This two-pronged research project was based on the semiotic study and analysis of data (Lagopoulos & Boklund-Lagopoulou, 1992; Christodoulou, 2003) obtained from the artistic and verbal texts of adolescents between twelve and fifteen years of age. To begin with, the adolescents depicted aspects of their daily leisure artistically and attempted to accompany their artwork with a brief verbal description. They then chose photographs somehow depicting their ideal leisure time from a chart of preselected pictures whose subjects were obtained from the literature (thematic caterogies). The researchers had preselected these pictures as a means of exploring the concept of desired leisure. The study was completed in three stages: (a) a theoretical framework of free time and its analysis, (b) data analysis and (c) conclusions about the meanings that leisure (experienced and desired) has for young people.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n1p21

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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