What are the characteristics of animation


animation, since the 1970s a central term in leisure science concept and theory formation. The scope of the term encompasses the spectrum of general broad definitions of terms, in which all recreational psychological and educational justifiable activities can be considered animation, up to narrower definition of termsthat are linked to specific forms of action in certain leisure situations. The common feature of this spectrum of animation is that Orientation towards open situations, in which the focus is on the autonomy and self-realization of the individual.
Animation in the broader sense comprises the entirety of activities, measures and interventions that are geared towards the fulfillment of certain leisure functions (emancipation, autonomous action, self-realization, fun, communication, creativity, etc.). Animation in this sense is the global description the activity and competence in the leisure-related professional field and can relate to different levels of action (micro, macro and mega level) in different social (political, economic, social, cultural, educational) subsystems. In models that use this broad understanding, animation is understood as a comprehensive term for interventions in leisure-cultural broad-based work or cultural and social work, which as a whole aim to improve psychological, physical and social living conditions. Another characteristic of this understanding of animation is that animation is not exclusively geared towards the microsocial dimensions of action, but rather takes place on several levels (Multi-level model of animation) and relates to different areas of human activity or systems of social contexts (e.g. culture, politics, education, etc.). The starting point for the concepts and theoretical approaches in this area is the dichotomy between the individual and society.
Animation in the strict sense on the other hand relates to the concrete level of action and interaction and includes the design and influencing of the effectiveness of material and social environmental factors on the experience and behavior of individuals and social groups. Particular qualitative characteristics (e.g. stimulus potential and prompting character, experience content, non-binding nature, action orientation) play an important role with regard to methodical action and its effectiveness, which makes the animative method distinguishable from other methods. Animation in this narrower sense is primarily method-oriented, i.e. the possible paths to a goal or the possible ways of conveying a content are the focus. The approaches to be found in the literature do not follow a uniform definition of animation as a method, the methodological characteristics of animation are very much influenced by the respective subject area (theater, sport, dance, music, social work, tourism, etc.): In addition to the recommendation for production of "end-means relationships" on the one hand, the methodological approaches mentioned are "trying and correcting", "improvising", "reinterpreting situations" and also "letting yourself be spoken to". This turns animation as a method into a flexible procedure that reacts to the specific interests and wishes of situation participants and takes into account both the emotional and behavioral aspects of perceptions.


Michels, H (1995). Animation - results of a reconstruction analysis for the development of leisure science theory. Spectrum of leisure time. Forum for Science, Politics and Practice 17, 2-3;
Michels, H. (1996). Animation in recreational sports. Edition Sport & Leisure 5. Aachen.