• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Leisure has always been associated with freedom, choice, and flexibility. The weekend and vacations were celebrated as ‘time off’. In his compelling new book, Chris Rojek turns this shibboleth on its head to demonstrate how leisure has become a form of labor.

Modern men and women are required to be competent, relevant, and credible, not only in the work place but with their mates, children, parents, and communities. The requisite empathy for others, socially acceptable values and correct forms of self-presentation demand work. Much of this work is concentrated in non-work activity, compromising traditional connections between leisure and freedom. Ranging widely from an analysis of the inflated aspirations of the leisure society thesis to the culture of deception that permeates leisure choice, the author shows how leisure is inextricably linked to emotional labor and intelligence. It is now a school for life.

In challenging the orthodox understandings of freedom and free time, The Labour of Leisure sets out an indispensable new approach to the meaning of leisure.

Multiple Equilibria: A Balanced Approach
Multiple equilibria: A balanced approach

The gap created by the collapse of the leisure society thesis has been partly filled by the attempt to reformulate what leisure means in relation to differentials of class, gender, ethnic and status inequality. This generated several paradigms in the study of leisure that aim to relate leisure forms and practice to power. I (1995, 2005) have written about these at length elsewhere. I do not propose to write about them in detail in this book. However, because I want to make the case that the study of leisure is caught in a bind between paradigms and needs to undergo an engineered paradigm shift, in which a different way of examining leisure becomes ascendant, I must ...

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