Worlds of Fashion, Lives of Leisure


Contemporary leisure sheds light on the world of work, in part because work and leisure are so difficult to distinguish on their own intrinsic merits. What is ephemeral leisure for some is ceaseless work for others, and what some consider arduous labor, others consider play. While joking, laughter, and informal bantering ease routines in work settings, some leisure activities, such as a game of timed chess, are carried out with absolute concentration and complete seriousness. The indistinguishability of work and leisure resides in the fact that social contracts pervade and govern them both. If there is one major difference, it is the extent to which leisure is shaped more by its own internal dynamics, whereas work is governed more by external criteria, notably efficiency. This is a matter of degree, of course, but it has important consequences.


Leisure Activity Risk Taking Popular Culture High Culture Marathon Race 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1993

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