Max Weber and Leisure

  • Pauwke Berkers
  • Koen van Eijck


The chapter discusses Max Weber’s theories on leisure, how his ideas have affected contemporary leisure studies, and how his insights could inform future research. We focus on three aspects of Weber’s rich sociological legacy: (1) the Protestant Ethic and the absence of leisure, focusing on the relationship between religion and consumption, (2) bureaucracy and rationalization of leisure, discussing McDonaldization and re-enchantment, and (3) social inequality and leisure: class, status, party, discussing how status—vis-à-vis class—matters for lifestyle studies. Exploring the Weberian influence on leisure theory, we suggest future research might focus on the renewed importance of religion, online leisure activities as enchantment, and changes in the legitimacy of leisure practices.


Max Weber Bureaucracy Rationalization Consumption Social class Lifestyles 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pauwke Berkers
    • 1
  • Koen van Eijck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Arts and Culture StudiesErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamthe Netherlands

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