Constructing Leisure: Historical and Philosophical Debates

Hardcover | November 15, 2011

byKarl Spracklen

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This book looks back at the meaning and purpose of leisure in the past. But this is not a simple social history of leisure. It is not enough to write a history of leisure on its own - in fact, it is impossible without engaging in the debate about what counts as leisure (in the present and in the past). Writing a history of leisure, then, entails writing a philosophy of leisure: and any history needs to be a philosophical history as well. That is the purpose of this book. It provides an account of leisure through historical time, how leisure was constructed and understood by historical actors, how communicative reason and free will interacted with instrumentality at different times, how historians have reconstructed past leisure through historiography, and finally, how writers have perceived the meaning and purpose of leisure in alternative histories. Providing a sweeping overview of the field, Karl Spracklen charts how the concept of leisure was understood in Ancient history, through to modern times, and looks at leisure in different societies and cultures including Byzantium and Asian civilizations, as well as looking at leisure and Islam. Spracklen concludes with a chapter on future histories of leisure.

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This book looks back at the meaning and purpose of leisure in the past. But this is not a simple social history of leisure. It is not enough to write a history of leisure on its own - in fact, it is impossible without engaging in the debate about what counts as leisure (in the present and in the past). Writing a history of leisure, the...

KARL SPRACKLENis a Principal Lecturer in Socio-Cultural Aspects of Sport and Leisure at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He has published papers on leisure, sport, tourism and identity and his previous publications include The Meaning and Purpose of Leisure and Sport and Challenges to Racism.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.56 inPublished:November 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023028051X

ISBN - 13:9780230280519

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Philosophy of Leisure
Leisure and Human Nature
Leisure in Classical History
Leisure, Islam and Byzantium
Leisure in the Middle Ages
Leisure in Japan, China and India
Early Modern Leisure
Leisure in Modernity
Leisure in Historiography
Future Histories of Leisure
Conclusions
References
Index