Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Synopsis

In 'Work and Leisure', leading experts from a wide range of disciplines examine key issues by reviewing the primary areas of concern, linking each to the core practical and theoretical issues, as well as the implications of these for both future research and policy decisions.

Excerpt

The year 2000 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Work and Leisure: An Interdisciplinary Study in Theory, Education and Planning (Haworth and Smith 1975). The book was based on the proceedings of a conference at which the Leisure Studies Association was conceived. Three decades later, global economic and social environments are very different, the mood is more uncertain and forecasting simplistic trends in work and leisure patterns is no longer appropriate. In this transformed environment, the relationship between work, leisure, social structure and well-being have emerged as challenging concerns for researchers, educators and policy-makers. Some commentators argue that profound transformations in the nature and organisation of work are occurring with potentially far-reaching social and economic consequences. Many organisations are demanding greater flexibility and introducing new technologies and working practices in response to the pressures of competition. Innovation is needed to sustain and create new jobs. Training for job skills is now a crucial part of economic strategy. And the meanings and concepts of work and leisure are being reappraised.

For some organisations flexibility of working practices are being coupled with policies for a balanced work and non-work life, sometimes in response to new attitudes, values and aspirations of key workers, but also to enhance creativity, improve company loyalty, and reduce the corporate health bill. Yet many employees are experiencing long hours, increasing workloads, changing work practices, and job insecurity. Stress at work and home is viewed as a major problem. At the same time, major social differentiation exists with increasing numbers of women in the paid workforce facing particular challenges, with resources in Western societies being increasingly unequally distributed, and significant variations arising in health, well-being and quality of life. The leisure environment has also changed radically with increasing commercialisation of leisure services and experiences, the influence of the Internet and globalisation, and a widespread decline in community-based activities.

This book brings together specially commissioned chapters from a number of leading experts in a wide range of disciplines concerned with work, leisure

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