The Labour of Leisure
The Culture of Free Time
- Chris Rojek - City, University of London, UK
Leisure Studies | Popular Culture | Sociology of Sport & Leisure
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.
The book was very interesting but unfortunately did not match well enough in the present course. However, I will seriously consider using it in case I will have an opportunity to give a lecture at a more basic level on the sociology of leisure and class which I shall propose to the authorities of my unit. If accepted, the course will take place Spring 2011.
This is an excellent overview of the concept that has the potential to challenge students' often naive assumptions about leisure. It is, as all of Rojek's work, nicely written and is both accessible and challenging. It raises important questions about freedom and its mediation by structures and institutions. It might have included a littel more on leisure and young people from the point of view, perhaps, of 'learning to leisure'. Overall, , however, it is a very useful addition to the literature.
There are some useful chapters in this book in terms of theoretical context. The style is accessible and 'The Labour of Leisure' will be appearing on reading lists for other modules as well.
Excellent book - as usual by Rojek. The only reason it is not essential is because it leisure forms only a dimension of modules - rather than being the central focus of a single module
Supplementary reading; also being used by some students in preparation for dissertations.
Very good and thought provoking book that is an excellent example of sociology at its best. The re-thinking and re-conceptualisation of leisure will certanily make students see it in a different way. However, the book would be slighly difficult for most undergraduates to read.
A useful book that shows how leisure has become a form of rationalised 'work' rather than free time and enjoyment. Clearly written and well organised. Too idiosyncratic and not sufficiently comprehensive for a set text, but some of my students will find this useful.
An excellent text which provides the reader with a through overview of contemporary debates in the sociology of consumption