The Labour of Leisure Reconsidered

Authored by: Chris Rojek , Tony Blackshaw

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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The twinning of labour with leisure is fit to raise hackles in the community of scholars that specialize in Leisure Studies. 1 Because labour is generally linked to pecuniary activity it is automatically associated with coercion, rigidity and lack of fulfilment. In contrast, leisure is associated with freedom, flexibility, choice and pleasure (Page and Connell, 2010: 11–34). The best reason for being wary of this polarized way of thinking is that it does not conform to general observation or experience. There is no essential reason to connect toil, alienation and restraint with labour. Just as freedom, flexibility, choice and pleasure are not necessarily universal characteristics of leisure.

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