The emergent working society of leisure

Neil Ravenscroft, Paul Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores a contemporary trend in the sociology of work and leisure which engages with classic leisure studies concerns about the nature of peoples' uses of time and their relationship to production and consmnption. Utilizing data from qualitative research into the career biographies of creative industries workers in a small coastal town in England, we posit that we are witnessing an emerging working society of leisure. This involves a shift from a consumption to a production focus: 'doing leisure' is now about cultural production. Class remains a major determinant of the leisure experience—the most successful tend to be those with significant external sources of economic and cultural capital. As such, we conclude by arguing that the emergent working society of leisure is neither the social democratic project of classic leisure studies, nor the meritocratic project of liberal democracy, but an inherently classist and exclusionary project of the 'post-work' era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Leisure society
  • cultural production
  • biography
  • creative industries
  • work and leisure


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