The Labour of Leisure: The Culture of Free Time

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Leisure has always been associated with freedom, choice and flexibility. In his compelling ew book, Chris Rojek turns this shibboleth on its head to demonstrate how leisure has become a form of labour.

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.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
As ever Rojek's spotlight on the world of leisure is so bright that it makes the rest of leisure studies fade to grey. He has also clearly developed a new talent for conceptual concision and clarity, as well as a capacity to express complex ideas in terms that even students can follow. This book should go down well with students and their tutors alike
Tony Blackshaw
Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Sport and Leisure, Sheffield Hallam University

We all wish to be free, and know that others keep telling us that we are; sometimes we indeed feel free. Seldom, though, do we pause and think what all that means. Like in the case of so many other experiences, we start thinking about their meanings only when something goes wrong; we run to lock the stable after the horse has bolted. Most of the time freedom remains to most of us a mystery. Chris Rojek, the most insistent, systematic and knowledgeable student of the 'condition of being free', offers us a chance of repairing that. Having read The Labour of Leisure, we may learn what being free really means, how to practice the difficult art of freedom and what stops us from practicing it as we could
Zygmunt Bauman
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds

Rojek provides a much needed correction in understanding what leisure is—and is not—in the 21st Century. A welcome provocation concerning modern life
Geoffrey Godbey
Pennsylvania State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412945530
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,071,066
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Rojek is Professor of Sociology and Culture at Brunel University, West London. He is a prolific and influential author in the field of Celebrity, Leisure Studies and Popular Culture. In 2003 he was awarded the Allen V. Sapora prize for outstanding achievement in the field of Leisure and Tourism Studies. Besides lecturing in the UK he has given lectures on leisure in Australia, Canada, the USA and the Netherlands. In 2009 he was Hood Fellow at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He also writes on celebrity culture, neat capitalism and myths and realities of national identity. His current research is on popular music and popular culture and the meaning of the celetoid in Reality TV.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures viii

1 Positioning Leisure 1

2 The Leisure Society Thesis and Its Consequences 21

3 Roadblocks to Free Time 53

4 Visionaries and Pragmatists 84

5 What Is Wrong with Leisure Studies? 110

6 Multiple Equilibria: A Balanced Approach 118

7 The State 133

8 Corporations 160

9 It's Still Leisure, Stupid 179

Notes 190

References 194

Author Index 204

Subject Index 207

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