Analyzing Leisure and Power

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    • 00:01

      [MUSIC PLAYING][Analyzing Leisure and Power]

    • 00:11

      CHRIS ROJEK: I'm Chris Rojek, professorof sociology at City University, and we'retalking about the question of leisureand how free are we in our leisure.Now, what I want to do here is to give you some ideasabout what you may want to do in terms of taking outthis in terms of research, doing some projects of your own.And one of the projects, I think,that is very simple to do is simply

    • 00:33

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: to try and keep a time diary of how you spend your free time.When you are going through the week,spend time at the end of the day just saying that between five--when I stopped being at the university,or when I stopped being at work, Ispent time doing this, this, and this until I went to sleep.And then begin to think about how the choices you made arose.

    • 00:55

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: Do they spring from you yourself deciding to go to the baror to go to the cinema?Or are you responding to people telling you to go to the bar?You want to be accepted by people.You want to be part of a group, so that'swhy you go to the bar.You go to the cinema because it's the really hot filmthat everybody is seeing at the moment.How free are you in making those choices?

    • 01:16

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: Now, the time diary's issues couldlead to some very interesting questions.And when you look at them in termsof a series of time diaries, one of the questionsthat I'd like you to look at is what'sthe role between your choice, and what'sthe role between how power works in society?If we are not free to make our choices by ourselves

    • 01:38

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: it suggests that we're being directed in particular waysby them.And in investigating those two ways,the things that you need to really concentrate uponare corporations.What do corporations do to make you want to buy their productsand use them in your free time?And why, furthermore, is it getting increasingly the case

    • 01:59

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: that corporations want you to buy thingsthat you're going to throw away within one, two years.They don't want to buy a camera that you're goingto have for 40 years, 30 years.They don't want you to buy a computer.They don't want you to buy a watch that you're going to haveforever.They want you to dispose of what you've got.Why do corporations do that?And why is our leisure concerned with those issues,

    • 02:20

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: that we want these things that weknow we're not going to want in two or three years' time.That's one form of power and how power operates.The second form is the state.Because one of the things the state doesto control our leisure is to do simple things,like have a police force which prevent usfrom doing certain things.

    • 02:40

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: We all know what those things are.I don't need to tell you.We all know that we can easily get into trouble if we takeour clothes off in a street.We know the police will come in.Unless it's Mardi Gras, when it's OK to do that,in New Orleans or the gay lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney.It's OK to be nude at that time.Things are relaxed.It's OK to, in Glastonbury, take soft drugs.

    • 03:01

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: The police will not take you into control at that time.What is it about the spirit of certain events in our culture,certain organized events, that allow those prohibitionsand rules that exist for every other day of the week and yearto go?What makes those things dissolve?

    • 03:22

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: Those kind of questions.The state also controls our leisure practicesthrough licensing.We're not allowed to drink 24 hours in Britain.There are certain times when pubs are openand certain times when they're closed.There are certain drugs that we can get in Americathat we can't get in Britain, because the state saysthey're not things that the British should have access to.

    • 03:43

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: What kinds of licensing can you actually makework in a wider digital world?Some years ago I was told by someone in media studiesthat there are two major sites on the internet that peoplewant to go to.The first, as you all know, is pornography.People want to go to pornography.The second, remarkably, is the videos

    • 04:06

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: of people being decapitated in Arabian countries, peoplewho've been taken prisoner, and videos are releasedof people being decapitated.Apparently these are huge, huge draws for ordinary peoplein the world.Why is pornography and decapitation so interesting?Because it's prohibited.

    • 04:26

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: Because it's something that we're notallowed to see in normal life, in normal leisure,we're drawn to it.What does that say about the human species?Why are we drawn to things that arethe dark side of ordinary life?What makes us drawn to things that are bad for us,or which in some ways could be seen as harming us?

    • 04:47

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: Why are we attracted to that?And why does that attraction occur not at work?It's not in the workplace that youwant to see decapitation and pornography.It is in leisure.It's what you do when you're awayfrom work, when you're meant to be engaged in normal leisureactivities.And by normal leisure activities Imean activities that are healthy for us.

    • 05:09

      CHRIS ROJEK [continued]: Socially healthy, in the sense of bringing communitiestogether.Personally healthy, in the sense of eating and drinking in waysthat make us fitter.Why is it that so many of us spend our leisuretime dealing with abnormal and difficult issues of behavior?[MUSIC PLAYING]

Analyzing Leisure and Power

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Abstract

Professor Chris Rojek discusses leisure and the freedom of leisure. He argues that there is not much freedom in leisure--corporate power, state power, and licensing power ensure that leisure activities are extremely limited. During leisure, many people are drawn to prohibited activities because they are not seen in normal life.

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Analyzing Leisure and Power

Professor Chris Rojek discusses leisure and the freedom of leisure. He argues that there is not much freedom in leisure--corporate power, state power, and licensing power ensure that leisure activities are extremely limited. During leisure, many people are drawn to prohibited activities because they are not seen in normal life.

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