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Reflections on Leisure

Interplay: The Magazine of European/American Affairs, vol.1 no.5 pp.51-56, December 1967


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Resource information:
Resource IDellul1967
Resource titleReflections on Leisure
Author(s)Jacques Ellul
Publication/ sourceInterplay: The Magazine of European/American Affairs, vol.1 no.5 pp.51-56
Date publishedDecember 1967
Summary text/ abstractIn the Western world, the United States and Europe, the question of leisure presents itself... sometimes joyfully, hopefully, and sometimes anxiously. It is said that we are progressing toward a society in which man will no longer be constrained by work. How will he make use of th is lei­sure? Is a "civilization of leisure" conceivable? A great deal has been written on this subject; it should be re­membered that the problem was first brought up, as far as I know, by Thorstein Veblen in 1899, in his famous Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen regarded leisure as non-pro­ductive consumption of time, based on a feeling of the in­ validity of productive work and on the notion of leisure as an obvious proof of possessing the means for a lite of ease. But he thought of it as a class phenomenon, and leisure appeared to him as something limited to the upper class, which in fact it was. However, if there has been an in­ crease in the number of studies on leisure, it is because the situation has undergone a major transformation. In­ deed, leisure in itself, or a civilization of ieisure, is too often thought of as something radically new; which cer­tainly reveals great ignorance of historical fact.
Library categoriesNeo-Luddism, Politics, Simplicity, Technology
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