The main goal of this book is to place the personal experience of leisure participation in the broader frame of the micro-, meso-, and macro-contexts in which leisure is pursued. I want to show how that experience is shaped by those contexts and how the contexts are shaped by the leisure experiences and the parallel agency of participants in leisure activities. In the present chapter, we look at the basic concepts needed for an effective study of the contexts of leisure. These include a definition of leisure, which is followed by a discussion of the centrality of activity, personal agency, and self-efficacy. The rewards of satisfaction and fulfillment are considered next, with this leading to the macro- or micro/structure-agency debate and on to leisure constraints and facilitators. The chapter closes with a précis of the serious leisure perspective (SLP). Culture is also a basic concept, but one so broad that is it is best discussed in conjunction with the various contextual points of view of which it is an important part.