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Decentring Leisure
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Decentring Leisure
Rethinking Leisure Theory



April 1995 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Chris Rojek provides a useful and well-referenced survey of modernist and postmodernist cultural theory. Always careful to locate his analysis in the work of leading thinkers, the reader is treated to a concise trip around the houses of recent and current cultural theory, stopping regularly to reconsider what light can be shed on the question of leisure in postmodern society." --Paul Ransome School of Social Studies University of Nottingham "This then is a book to get you thinking. It has proved impossible to convey accurately the exciting, wide-ranging, seemingly effortless travel across a wide variety of schools, disciplines and thinkers which Rojek employs to support his argument. he uses a direct personal style which shines through the closely argued material and keeps you turning the pages to the very end. Students brought up in the modernist traditions of sociologies of leisure may find this book challenging and ultimately even frustrating, but it is an essential text which I hope will appear on recommended reading lists everywhere leisure is studied." --Diane Seymour in Work, Employment & Society Prized and pursued by members of all societies, leisure is recognized as a consistent element of culture; yet within the context of disparate political and social structures, both its literal and symbolic significance differ greatly. In Decentring Leisure, author Chris Rojek considers the influence of such key social constructs as capitalism, modernity, and postmodernity on the ways we have come to perceive and use leisure. Within a capitalist framework, issues ranging from the meaning of workers' free time to the gendered nature of leisure are explored; the impact of modernity is examined next, offering accounts and analyses of the prevailing--and conflicting--theories. Finally, the author assays the cultural condition that has radically changed the idea of leisure: postmodernism. From a critical assessment of the effects of living in a risk society to a survey of the works of philosophic masters including Marx, Weber, Nietzsche, and Baudrillard, this absorbing volume will be required reading for students of leisure, culture, and social theory.

 
Introduction
Capitalism/Modernity/Postmodernity  
 
PART ONE: CAPITALISM AND LEISURE
 
Capitalism
Production  
 
Capitalism
Reproduction  
 
PART TWO: MODERNITY AND LEISURE
 
Modernity 1
The Roots of Order  
 
Mechanisms of Regulation
 
Modernity 2
The Disorder of Things  
 
The Phenomenology of Leisure
 
PART THREE: POSTMODERNISM AND LEISURE
 
Postmodernity and Postmodernism
 
Postmodern Leisure
 
Conclusion
Homo Faber/Homo Ludens  

`Rojek provides a useful and well-referenced survey of modernist and postmodernist cultural theory. Always careful to locate his analysis in the work of leading thinkers, the reader is treated to a concise trip around the houses of recent and current cultural theory stopping regularly to (re)consider what light can be shed on the question of leisure in postmodern society.... key terms and ideas are defined and explained simply and straightforwardly, often being broken down into three or four `main points' for easy digestion. A strategy which will no doubt be welcomed by the erstwhile essay-writing undergraduate. The format is reflected in a tidy structure to the book' - Reviewing Sociology

`A book to get you thinking. It has proved impossible to convey accurately the exciting, wide-ranging, seemingly effortless trawl across a wide variety of schools, disciplines and thinkers which Rojek employs to support his argument. He uses a direct personal style which shines through the closely argued material and keeps you turning the pages to the very end. Students brought up in the modernist traditions of sociologies of leisure may find this book challenging and ultimately even frustrating, but it is an essential text which I hope will appear on recommended reading lists everywhere leisure is studied' - Work, Employment & Society

`A masterful defence of the title. It is written in a confident and engaging style which has the virtue of making what is often a bewildering conceptual minefield accessible to students... It will provide a valuable teaching aid. I would certainly use it to clarify and illustrate the sociological perspective on modernity and postmodernity. I particularly appreciated the examples and the occasional acerbic and ironic observations. The distinction he draws between Modernity 1 and Modernity 2 is a particularly useful key to getting purchase on the thorny (and for many baffling concepts of postmodernity and postmodernism) and his comprehensive survey of the issues offers a refreshing insight into the workings of the sociological imagination. He goes right to the heart of the matter and makes a persuasive and balanced case for the continued relevance of a sociology which takes the controversial concepts of postmodernity/postmodernism seriously yet is firmly grounded in the traditional concerns of the discipline' - Mike Hepworth, University of Aberdeen

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