• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Jean Baudrillard’s classic text was one of the first to focus on the process and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. Originally published in 1970, the book makes a vital contribution to current debates on consumption. The book includes Baudrillard’s most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure, and anomie in affluent society. A chapter on the body demonstrates Baudrillard’s extraordinary prescience for flagging vital subjects in contemporary culture long before others. This English translation begins with a new introductory essay.

The Drama of Leisure or the Impossibility of Wasting One’s Time
The Drama of Leisure or the Impossibility of Wasting One’s Time

In the real or imagined abundance of the ‘consumer society’, Time occupies something of a privileged place. The demand for that very special kind of good equals the demand for almost all the others taken together. There is, of course, no more an equality of opportunity – or democracy – of free time than there is of other goods and services. Moreover, we know that, though it has some significance between periods or between cultures, the accounting of free time in chronometric units is not at all meaningful for us as an absolute value: the quality of that free time, its rhythm and ...

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