Consumption of leisure

Authored by: Jennifer Smith Maguire

Routledge Handbook on Consumption

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138939387
eBook ISBN: 9781315675015
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380900


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This chapter examines key themes in the sociocultural study of the consumption of leisure. To begin, let us consider the relationship between these terms. Consumption and leisure are often treated synonymously: a reflection of the degree to which leisure has been shaped by commercialization and commodification (Rojek, 1985; Wearing & McDonald, 2015). This is perhaps best exemplified through sport as a genre of leisure activities. The participation in and spectatorship and organization of sport have undergone extensive commercialization over the contemporary period (Andrews & Clift, 2015; Moor, 2007) such that we might refer to a ‘sports-industrial complex’ (Maguire, 2004). The close alignment of consumption and leisure might even be considered a structural feature of capitalism. As consumer spending increasingly predominates within national economies, a mentality that equates leisure with consumption ensures the reproduction of the social order (e.g. McDonald, Wearing & Ponting, 2008).

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