Leisure, Instrumentality and Communicative Action

  • Karl Spracklen


Habermas has continued the work of the Frankfurt School but also in many ways broke with it. In this chapter, his ideas about communicative and instrumental rationality as they relate to leisure are used, both in his work and in the work of Spracklen. In this new century of (post)modernity and technological progress, it is easy to think that leisure lives have become more meaningful and important. Leisure is claimed to be the space or activity in which we become human, find our Self and find belonging. There is an enormous range of literature that makes the case for contemporary leisure as a form that allows for meaningful human agency and human development, whether through the discipline of physical activity or the virtual communities of the internet. In this chapter, the opposite case is made: the lifeworld of leisure has been swamped by systems of global capitalism.


Habermas Instrumentality Communicative action Capitalism Hegemony 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Spracklen
    • 1
  1. 1.Carnegie FacultyLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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