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Leisure in Society
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| Words: 2128 | Submitted: 11-Jan-2012
98.8% | Number of pages: 9 | Filetype: Word .doc
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DescriptionLeisure is Society - the history and concepts of how leisure is perceived and how it has evolved over the generations
Leisure is a 20thcentury phenomenon that has evolved globally reflecting society, culture and heritage. Not every society perceives leisure in the same way; therefore definitions and concepts of leisure have changed over time reflecting specific historical eras. Each individual concept has its own definitions and theories which determines it even harder to define the term leisure.
Leisure has become a key segment to the economy for many developed and developing countries allowing continual growth in expenditure globally; therefore making it a worthy subject to study.
According to the Office of National Statistics, today the leisure industry in the UK is worth more than £1.7 billion a week. With the average UK household spending approximately £50.60 on leisure services a week, households in the UK are now spending more on leisure than any other area of their lives.
The intention of this essay is to outline the changing definitions and conceptions of leisure throughout the ages to form an all embracing definition of leisure to contribute to the current understanding of leisure today.
In order to achieve that, this essay will discuss the evolution of leisure and how social, economic, political and cultural history have altered the definitions of leisure over time; the significance of the associated concepts of leisure and the difficulties of devising an all embracing definition of leisure.
The concept of leisure has been under discussion for over 2000 years varying in definitions influenced by the time period and societies they are from. By 2003 Edington et al listed over 200 definitions of leisure. Interestingly, earlier work on definitions of leisure weren’t specialists in leisure. Research on leisure was conducted by other professions such as social scientists; i.e. sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, biologists and even philosophers and industry academics, who each convey a different interpretation of leisure. In English the term leisure comes from the Latin verb ‘licere’ which means “to be permitted” or “to be free” indicating a strong connection between leisure and free time. The term leisure can also be traced to the Greek word ‘schole’ which is related to the English word ‘scholar’ implying a close connection between leisure and education. Despite each origin of definition, they all suggest freedom to choose what to do. Leisure has become a modern concept in today’s society allowing humanity to put an academic industry together to allow leisure to develop to what it is known as today. The evolution of leisure has allowed multiple meanings and definitions with a differentiation as to how each person consumes and uses their leisure time. Some people may regard leisure as a time for relaxation and the time left after their daily lives at work, whereas others believe leisure is the opportunity to ...
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