Leisure in Culture

Authored by: Garry Chick

Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415697170
eBook ISBN: 9780203140505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136495595


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In Anthropology, the discipline’s first general text, Edward Burnett Tylor (1881) presented a remarkably prescient introduction to a field of study that was arguably only two or three decades old. While several chapters in the book are long obsolete, others are surprisingly modern in both content and organization. Chapters 8 through 11, for example, deal with the development of tools, the food quest, housing, clothing, transportation, food preparation, technology and commerce. Tylor subsumed these chapters under the general rubric ‘Arts of Life’. In contrast, he titled chapter 12, the ‘Arts of Pleasure’. There, he addressed poetry, music, dance, drama, art, play and games. Tylor’s division of culture into the ways that humans make their livings and raise their families (the Arts of Life) and the ways in which they commonly seek enjoyment and give meaning to life (the Arts of Pleasure) was both observant and insightful. In current anthropological parlance, these are often described as utilitarian culture and expressive culture.

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