First published in 1989. In the climate of long-term unemployment, early retirement, and technology that is seen to threaten jobs, 'leisure’ has been presented as the solution to a multitude of social problems. The essays in this collection represent the most important arguments on the problems, myths, and misunderstandings of leisure. Arguing from a range of positions, some sceptical, others more idealistic, they look at the complexities of this field and the social and political problems that surround it.
No single argument dominates. What emerges is a live-wire debate on class and gender, employment and economic status, age and education, which brings the discussion of leisure controversially up to date.
The book, based on papers presented to conferences of the Leisure Studies Association, divides into sections on leisure and social change, the relationship between leisure and social structures, and the tension between leisure and employment. It takes a critical look at leisure in Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the USA, and at the paradoxes that will determine its future. Whilst refusing to see leisure as a synonym for social progress and liberalization, it argues that the quality of leisure reflects the quality of society itself.
Notes on the Contributors; General Introduction; Part One: Leisure and Social Change; Introduction; 1. Predictions, Portents, and Paradigms (1976) Ian Miles 2. Technological Change and the Future (1980) Tom Stonier 3. De-skilling and Forced Leisure: Steps Beyond Class Analysis (1984) Chris Rojek 4. The Politics of Leisure: Social Control and Social Development (1980) Chas Critcher 5. The Society of Leisure: Myth and Reality (1975) Kenneth Roberts 6. Anti-leisure and Public Recreation Policy: A View from the USA (1975) Geoffrey Godbey; Part Two: Leisure and Social Structure; Introduction; 7. Class Stratification and Cultural Consumption: Some Motifs in the Work of Pierre Bourdieu (1977) Graham Murdock 8. The Swedish Experience: Life and Leisure in an Affluent Mixed Economy (1980) Harold Swedner 9. Sociology and Leisure: A Structural Approach and Some Policy Implications (1975) N. C. A. Parry and D. Johnson 10. Boys Muscle in Where Angels Fear to Tread: The Relationship between Physical Education and Young Women‘s Subcultures (1984) Sheila Scraton 11. One-parent Families and Leisure (1979) Jane Streather; Part Three: Leisure and Work: Problems and Possibilities; Introduction; 12. "The trouble with being unemployed is that you never get a day off" (1982) Paul Corrigan 13. Unemployment, Youth, and Leisure in the 1980s (1985) Kenneth Roberts 14. Unemployment, Leisure, and Education (1981) David H. Hargreaves 15. Education for Leisure: A Case Study from the Netherlands (1981) George de Vink 16. Early Retirement: A New Leisure Opportunity? (1982) Ann McGoldrick 17. Leisure and the Future: Considering the Options (1984) A. J. Veal; Index