LSA 2021: Aaron Pooley

‘Home brewing as serious leisure: A sociolinguistic perspective’

This study contributes to a working theory on the sociolinguistics of leisure. A benefit of serious leisure yet under-reported in the literature is how it supports cross-cultural and cross-linguistic contact. For many, home brewing is a long-term serious leisure pursuit needing lasting study, practice, financial commitment and significant investment in time. Home brewing also builds community through social engagement. In South Korea, home brewing is gaining popularity among the population locally and with guest populations staying temporarily for employment. This study explores serious leisure from a sociolinguistic perspective, examining how home brewers in South Korea developed rewarding leisure lifestyles despite challenges adjusting to an unfamiliar culture and limits in knowing the Korean language. The study participants were English speakers from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Analysis of online questionnaires, field observation and semi-structured interviews revealed that home brewing as a serious leisure pursuit supported the formation of multi-language leisure speech communities between English and Korean speakers. Multi-language leisure speech communities involve cross-linguistic contact as a function of shared leisure experiences. At first, the English-speaking participants and their Korean interlocutors used language specific to home brewing, which blended terminology in English, German, Italian, and Korean. As cross-linguistic contact continued, these multi-language leisure speech communities also advanced participants Korean language use and cultural adjustment and broadened leisure possibilities. Further research could explore how serious leisure supports cross-linguistic contact in other contexts of global mobility.


Aaron W. Pooley (PhD, Linguistics) is an assistant professor of English language and literature at Soonchunhyang University, Korea. His research interests include leisure and language contact, leisure and the sociolinguistics of globally mobile populations and digital leisure interactions using mobile devices and applications.

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