Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

Excerpt

Writers about work rarely have much to say about leisure. This has already been said in one of the chapters which follow, but I think it bears repeating. It also bears repeating that writers about leisure give very little attention to work. Another neglect, it seems to me, concerns the kind of society we live in today; the meaning of work and leisure in this society. The way of life is that of people, most people including countrymen, set in the midst of an industrial urban environment largely of man's own making. Much of this way of life is new, almost unrelated to precedent, and not only new but changing.

That writers on work look in one direction and writers on leisure look in another should not surprise us. Rather, it emphasizes how work and leisure under industrial urbanism have been separated. But this separateness appears to be a passing thing. We must remember that research in both work and leisure is new, most of the literature has appeared during the past three decades, and the most penetrating materials have appeared during the past decade. In fact, some of the most promising studies are only now under way.

What we can hardly escape recognizing, once we examine work and leisure in relation to each other is that we are dealing with uses of time, and different dimensions of time. Because time has been used efficiently in work we get leisure. We sell time so that time not sold may be used as we like. We find that production and consumption are opposite uses of time and in both kinds of activity time may be measured in money values. But time as an abstraction becomes the measure of such other abstractions as space, distance and motion, so pertinent to technological and scientific development incident to more . . .

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