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Leisure and Life-Style: A Comparative Analysis of Free Time

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The prolonged period of economic expansion after the second world war, and more recent developments such as the impact of information technology, led to predictions of the imminent arrival of a new leisure society. The combination of rising wealth with free time created by technological advance was expected to heighten existing trends towards the dissemination of leisure and consumption throughout social classes and groups. In this international comparative analysis of contemporary leisure and lifestyles, a distinguished team of contributors show that the actual evolution of patterns of work and leisure is more complex. The impact of economic recession in the early 1980s, and of continued crisis in many parts of the world, has accentuated differences in consumption and leisure within and between nations. Some groups have emerged with enforced free time through unemployment, underemployment or retirement; others with leisure time limited through pressures of work but with increased capacity for conspicuous consumption. In analysing the amount and use of free time in society the authors shed light not only on leisure but also on the ways different societies are being reshaped by current economic pressures. This book will be of interest to all scholars interested in the growing fields of leisure studies, cultural studies, and the sociology of consumption. Hide synopsis

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