Postmodernity and Leisure

  • Mira Malick


The concepts and analytical tools developed by Jean-François Lyotard and Bruno Latour have been employed to examine a wide variety of cultural phenomena, but have yet to be vigorously utilized in the realm of leisure studies. This chapter aims to bridge that gap by providing an introductory look into some of Lyotard and Latour’s best-known works. The chapter begins with an outline of a Lyotardian take on what the postmodern is, followed by an introduction on how we can relate some of his ideas on paralogy and the sublime, as critical tools that can be applied to research on leisure. In the second part of the chapter, criticisms of Lyotard and the idea of the postmodern, as raised by Bruno Latour, are brought forth, followed by an introduction on some of his ideas on Actor-Network Theory and the amodern as an alternative on how to deal with “postmodern” phenomena.


Actor-Network Theory Amodern Latour Lyotard Paralogy Postmodern Sublime 


  1. Arditi, D. (2014). Digital downsizing: The effects of digital music production on labor. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 26(4), 503–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Auslander, P. (1998). Seeing is believing: Live performance and the discourse of authenticity in rock culture. Literature and Psychology, 44(4), 1–26.Google Scholar
  3. Condry, I. (2006). Hip-hop Japan. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gane, N. (2003). Computerized capitalism: The media theory of Jean-François Lyotard. Information, Communication & Society, 6(3), 430–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Halnon, K. (2006). Heavy metal carnival and dis-alienation: The politics of grotesque realism. Symbolic Interaction, 29(1), 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jameson, F. (1991). Postmodernism, or, the cultural logic of late capitalism. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Jauss, H., & Benzinger, E. (1970). Literary history as a challenge to literary theory. New Literary History, 2(1), 7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kurochkina, K. (2014). Practices of self-sufficiency in Japan. Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  9. Latour, B. (1990). Postmodern? No, simply amodern! Steps towards an anthropology of science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 21(1), 145–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Latour, B., & Porter, C. (1993). We have never been modern. Cambridge, MA: Havard University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Law, J. (1992). Notes on the theory of the actor-network: Ordering, strategy, and heterogenity. Systems Practice, 5(4), 379–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Law, J., & Hassard, J. (1999). Actor network theory and after. Oxford: Blackwell/Sociological Review.Google Scholar
  14. Leheny, D. (2003). The rules of play. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Leipert, T. (2012). Destination unknown: Jean-François Lyotard and orienting musical affect. Contemporary Music Review, 31(5–6), 425–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lyotard, J. (1988). Peregrinations. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lyotard, J. (1993b). The postmodern explained. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lyotard, J., Bennington, G., & Massumi, B. (1984). The postmodern condition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  19. Malpas, S. (2003). Jean-Francois Lyotard. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Nakajima, S. (2013). Re-imagining civil society in contemporary urban China: Actor-network-theory and Chinese independent film consumption. Qualitative Sociology, 36(4), 383–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rinehart, R., & Sydnor, S. (2003). To the extreme. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  22. Spracklen, K. (2014). There is (almost) no alternative: The slow ‘heat death’ of music subcultures and the instrumentalization of contemporary leisure. Annals of Leisure Research, 17(3), 252–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Spracklen, K. (2015). Digital leisure, the internet and popular culture: Communities and identities in a digital age. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stebbins, R. (2014). Careers in serious leisure: From dabbler to devotee in search of fulfillment. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mira Malick
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Asia-Pacific StudiesWaseda UniversityShinjuku-ku, TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations