Living on Durban's fringe : a study of the leisure styles of shack and peri-urban youth.
The study explored the leisure styles of peri-urban youth living on the fringe of the city of Durban. Little is known about the leisure patterns of this marginalised segment of the urban population and an aim of this study was to begin to develop a knowledge-base using a holistic or multi-theme approach. Data was collected on the leisure activities, attitudes and the leisure setting of shack youth. Such information would be helpful in understanding the role which leisure plays and could play in the social development of shack youth. The research methodology, comprising qualitative interviewing in phase one (to gather contextual data) and a survey in phase two (to explore leisure patterns quantitatively), complemented the holistic focus by examining actors' leisure experiences and the wider leisure context. To interpret the research findings, socio-psychological models of leisure explained respondents' styles of leisure at the interpersonal level whilst at the macro-spatial level, findings were contextualised in an apartheid city 'framework to show the way the historical context has shaped present leisure patterns. In the context of shack life, leisure was found to be a strategy for survival and an alternative route to the satisfaction of higher order needs. Despite environmental constraints, respondents identified socio-spatial opportunities for leisure activities which they perceived to be freely chosen and enjoyable. The study concluded that leisure is a valuable tool which social policy makers and planners could use to develop the latent potential of young shack dwellers.