Without Work, There Can Be No Leisure | Homework Market Help

Introduction

            Scholars have explored the aspect of leisure extensively in order to determine the tenets that make leisure. It is evident that leisure is extremely difficult to define, and entails a wide range of activities like sports, games and tourism (Bennet 2008). However, a striking observation is the relationship that leisure has with work, which seeks to define leisure in the domain of work, which is conventionally referred to as the work-leisure relationships. Recently, scholars have formulated another model to view leisure, which takes shifts away from the conventional work-leisure relationship and places emphasis on the relationship between culture and leisure. It is evident that these two viewpoints are at opposite ends of the spectrum, wherein the work-leisure relationship maintains that work is a prerequisite for leisure, an aspect that the leisure-culture relationship disregards (Blackshaw 2003). These contradictory views on leisure poses the need to have an in depth understanding of what constitutes leisure, especially in the domain of free time. This is because most definitions of leisure incorporate the aspect of free time, although they differ in terms of the prerequisite of free time. However, most scholars on leisure consent that leisure benefits individuals and the larger society, especially in terms of physical and mental health, economic benefits and environmental benefits (Critcher, Bramham & Tomlinson 1995). This paper argues from the work-leisure relationship viewpoint to conclude that work is a significant prerequisite of leisure, implying that without work, there is no leisure; in other words, leisure is meaningless if undertaken without the domain of work. However, the limitation in this argument is that it does not take into consideration the fact that there are some leisure activities that are considered professional work; an example is sports. In such a case, how is the leisure-work relationship applicable? What of cases associated with unpaid work? The paper outlines the concept of work and worth ethic, and the concept of leisure, after which the paper attempts to draw the relationship between work and leisure. The paper also discusses the socio-cultural significance leisure and the relationship existing between leisure, work and education.

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Work plays a significant purpose in the lives of people. There are numerous definitions of work depending on individual experiences and the society. In the context of Western societies, the most essential form of work is paid employment. This implies that the definition of work is socially constructed and there is the need to understand the concept of work in specific contexts. It is apparent that work offers an individual with self identity, income and socio-economic status. The nature of work has changed in the course of human existence (Gilles 1998). In the context of subsistence and traditional societies, work is undertaken with the primary goal of ensuring survival. This was usually based on the facets of division of labor and gender segregation. In aIDition, work depended on cooperative efforts, with overtime work becoming specialized and people had to rely on each other. The industrial revolution transformed the work domain from homes to cities and factories; as a result, people migrated from rural areas to urban areas. The primary characteristic of this whole process relied on the utilization of machinery and technology (Goodin et al. 2005). In factories, work was separated into specialized tasks with managed taking control over supervisors. During industrial revolution, workers grouped into unions, and work was perceived differently with attitudes towards work changing. The protestant work ethic placed emphasis on working hard with the main goal of redeeming the soul and saving time. Core ideas central to the work ethic included working hard, attaining independence and saving. During this time, working hours and work patterns were linked mainly to the profit motive. In the end, work was perceived as a matter of routine and workers had minimal control over the commodities they produced even if they were reduced to a commodity (Harris 2005). The underlying argument is that the worker exchanged labor for wage, which resulted in the social relationship between worker and the boss based on the aspect of ownership of production. An inference from the above concepts of work reveal that the traditional work ethic places emphasis on productivity, which implies that people inclined to the traditional work ethic are likely to shun away leisure activities (Jewell 1997). It is also apparent from the above concepts of work that there is a relationship between work and leisure, but in the domains of productivity. This is because working patterns and durations were connected to profit motive, implying that people inclined towards productivity were less involved in leisure activities than people who were not inclined towards productivity.

Leisure has been equally important in the course of human existence. There are no precise definitions of leisure; however, the general consensus is that leisure entails activities that are taken during free time away from productive work. Leisure is also defined in the domain of the experiences associated with participating in these activities (Kraus 2006). The Macquarie Dictionary provides various definitions of leisure: leisure as spare time resulting from temporary exemption from duties; leisure as a period of unemployment time; and leisure as an opportunity by free time. It is evident that the casual definition of leisure is somewhat related to the domain of work, which mainly centers on free time provided when one is relived from duties. However, there are unresolved issues regarding what constitutes free time (Kraus 2006). For instance, if a person does not participate in any productive work, does this imply that the person cannot participate in leisure activities owing to the fact that leisure involves time taken away from the productive time? There are other definitions of leisure from literature. For instance, the Australian Council for Health perceives leisure as a state of mind that is often characterized by an unobligated time and willing confidence (Goodin et al. 2005). In aIDition, leisure can entail participation in extensive activity or lack thereof. The primary premise of leisure involves the attitude that fosters productive and peaceful co-existence with one’s environment. As a result, leisure comprises of a block of unoccupied time, free time or even spare time when individuals can opt to rest or do anything of their choice (Wilcock 2006). Therefore, leisure refers to the time that is beyond that which is needed for existence, and the things that we must undertake to stay biologically. From this point of view, leisure is discretionary, wherein an individual engaged in any activity of his or her choice. An inference from this definition is that leisure excludes the time an individual’s participates in free time, which is conventionally termed spare time, free time or unoccupied time (Marshall 2012).

Leisure also comprises of a numerous occupations that the individual may participate out of his or her own free will, which may include resting, amusements, aID knowledge, or improve his or her skills. An important aspect of this definition is that leisure activities are undertaken after an individual has completed discharging his or her family, social and professional responsibilities. Using this line of thinking, leisure is perceived as an activity that an individual participated at will besides work, social and family obligations (Stebbins 2007). This means if even if a person decides to work over time, it is still considered as a leisure activity. Fundamentally, leisure is undertaken for main goals of diversion, personal development, social achievement and relaxation. It is apparent from the literature definitions of leisure that leisure is undertaken during times when a person is away from productive work, which directly points to the work-leisure definition of leisure, rather than the culture-leisure perspective of leisure. This conceptualization of leisure perceives leisure as the time remaining after an individual satisfies the requirements of productive work and basic needs; therefore, leisure is a non work behavior of individuals associated with free time. This conceptualization agrees with Aristotle’s view of leisure, wherein leisure is the state of being free from the insistent demands associated with lower level needs (Leitner & Leitner 2004).

However, there are some scholars that argue that leisure is not related to work, and consider leisure as a form of spiritual and mental attitude that is not derived from external factors such as holidays, weekends, vacations, or spare time. This school of thought considers leisure as an attitude of an individual’s mind, a condition of the sole that is divergent from the facets of the ideal worker. However, this definition consents to the fact that leisure is connected to non-activity, which perhaps ties leisure to the concept of work, with the only difference being that, in leisure, individuals have the free will to choose their activities whereas in work, people are limited by their obligations and duty. Irrespective of the choice of activities undertaken during leisure time, it must be differentiated within the domains of work. In the modern societal discourse, there is a distinction between work and leisure, wherein leisure is perceived to be the opposite of work; this is because of the free will to choose and make decisions and individual satisfaction, which are the primary tenets that differentiate leisure from work (Goodin et al. 2005).

The aspect of leisure has revolutionized over time because of the mounting secularization. Some core contributing factors to this change include improvements in geographical mobility, alterations in patterns of work, and the increasing significance of the weekend. People engage in leisure for social participation, enhancing self identity and esteem, societal values and expectations, and peer group relations. The leisure activities undertaken by a person depends on the work he or she undertakes and the level of education. For instance, professional sportsmen participate in leisure activities and get paid out of leisure. Some use the skills obtained during leisure time to earn a living. Learning institutions offer people with the required skills and means to engage in meaningful work, which, in turn, affects the forms of leisure activities that an individual undertakes, and offers status and choice about engaging in leisure activities (Goodin et al. 2005).

Nevertheless, there are a number of limitations of definition leisure in the domains of work. First, there are unresolved issues regarding the precise definition of work; for instance, it has not been affirmed whether non paying endeavors such as studying and volunteering are work. This implies that non work time should be utterly perceived as free time; this is because it does not constitute free time dedicated to leisure activities, but also channeled towards other obligatory activities like housework. It is not easy to separate activities into dedicated time and free time (Rojek, Shaw & Veal 2006). For instance, taking a shower is not considered as either work or leisure. It is not clear whether activities are on a continuum of work or leisure or there is precise differentiation of leisure and work. Scholars have differed when classifying activities lime shopping, eating, and attending religious functions. In aIDition, there is no clear relationship between leisure and work. For instance, studies point out that some people find skills obtained during work to become useful in their hobbies, whereas other convert their hobbies into meaningful work. In aIDition, some people have utilized leisure activities to progress their work careers, such as sports men. Sociologists also differ whether political and spiritual activities must be considered as leisure (Roberts 2006).

In conclusion, it is evident that there is a relationship between leisure and work, particularly, leisure is inexistent without work. From the concept of work, it is apparent that the ideal worker lacks free will and is constrained by the obligation of his or her work, which is contrary to the aspect of free will associated with leisure. It is also evident that most definitions of leisure are tied within the domains of work, wherein leisure entails free time from the obligations of work. Most definitions of leisure attempt to establish the relationship existing between work and free time, which simply implies that leisure cannot exist without work. It is evident that the casual definition of leisure is somewhat related to the domain of work, which mainly centers on free time provided when one is relived from duties. In aIDition, literature definitions of leisure establish the relationship between leisure and work. This conceptualization of leisure views leisure as the time remaining after an individual satisfies the requirements of productive work and basic needs; as a result, leisure is a non work behavior of individuals associated with free time. This definition of leisure agrees with Aristotle’s view of leisure, wherein leisure is the state of being free from the insistent demands associated with lower level needs. Some scholars have attempted to distance leisure from work, and consider leisure as a form of spiritual and mental attitude that is not derived from external factors such as holidays, weekends, vacations, or spare time. This school of thought considers leisure as an attitude of an individual’s mind, a condition of the sole that is divergent from the facets of the ideal worker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bennet, MB 2008, ‘The Sociology of Leisure: Some Suggestions ‘, Industrial Relations: A  Journal of Economy and Society, vol 12, no. 2, pp. 31-45.

Blackshaw, T 2003, Leisure Life: Myth, Masculinity and Modernity, Routledge, New York.

Critcher, C, Bramham, B & Tomlinson, A 1995, Sociology of Leisure: A Reader, Taylor & Francis, New York.

Gilles, P 1998, The Sociology of Leisure. Trend Report, Sage Publications, London.

Goodin, RE, Rice, JM, Bittman, M & Saunders, P 2005, ‘The time-pressure illusion: Discretionary time vs free time’, Social Indicators Research, vol 73, no. 12, pp. 43-70.

Harris, D 2005, Key concepts in leisure studies, Sage, London.

Jewell, K 1997, Reflections on leisure, play, and recreation, Southern Illinois University Press,      Carbondale.

Kraus, R 2006, Recreation and Leisure in Modern Society, Lightning Source Incorporated, New   York.

Leitner, F & Leitner, S 2004, Leisure Enhancement, Routledge, New York.

Marshall, N 2012, Nature of Work and Leisure, viewed 12 June 2012,            http://www.hsc.csu.edu.au/society_culture/work_leisure/nature/nature_work/natureofwo   kandleisure.html .

Roberts, K 2006, Leisure in Contemporary Society, CABI, New York.

Rojek, C, Shaw, S & Veal, A 2006, A Handbook of Leisure Studies, Palgrave Macmillan,  Houndmills, UK.

Sharp, E, Caldwell, L, Graham, J & Ridenour, T 2006, ‘Individual Motivation and Parental Influence on Adolescents’ Experiences of Interest in Free Time: A Longitudinal Examination’,  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol 35, no. 3, pp. 340-353.

Stebbins, R 2007, Serious Leisure: A Perspective for Our Time, Transaction Publishers, New         Brunswick, N.J.

Wilcock, A 2006, An occupational perspective of health, Slack, Thorofare.

 

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