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The Difficulty of Distinguishing Work and Leisure Today
Work and Leisure by Roger C. Mannell and Donald G. Reed, The Urgent Work-Leisure Society by Neil Ravenscroft and Paul Gilchrist, and Deborah Rapuano’s Working with Soft Hours have revolutionized the definition of work and leisure. a change from the traditional separation of the two terms to the integration of different spheres of activity in different ways. The main reason is that society has changed and become a global economy, giving some members of society a new source of creative effort, allowing some people to combine their work as an economic activity with intrinsically motivated work that fulfills similar needs. and personal satisfaction often found in leisure activities.
An example of a combination of work and leisure is the “work” that artists, architects, and other creative professionals find satisfaction in their work. At the same time, others who take up an activity as a hobby in their spare time, such as some of the pub musicians Rapuano describes, may find that the fun activity turns into a job and becomes a source of work. marketable goods that earn wages.
Thus, while work and leisure may in some contexts be two distinct aspects of life, they may intermingle and become part of a continuum depending on how different people approach work-life balance. On the one hand, for some people, especially those in the lower social classes, work and leisure are generally separate, for example, factory and farm workers who must work for a living and for whom leisure is often separate. non-work activities such as spending time with family, drinking with friends, playing sports, watching movies, music gatherings, and other types of celebrations. There may be small opportunities for leisure throughout the workday, such as a short coffee break between shifts, a lunch break, or listening to music while doing routine activities. to participate in leisure activities outside of this duty or work.
In contrast, for professionals, knowledge workers, managers, company owners, and entrepreneurs, especially those with higher economic status, there are many activities that would be considered leisure activities unless they are spent working, leisure, and working with others. the same profession, industry, profession has a work component. For example, a sales manager or company owner may attend a sales conference to improve their sales performance, but they may also attend trade shows, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and networking parties before, during, and after the seminar. , and drinking with others at a local night club during the conference for fun or business purposes. While part of the event is about learning techniques and strategies to improve your ability to work better and smarter, most of the event is about having fun. However, even while having fun, leisure time contributes to success at work because you are participating in these activities with your business colleagues, who are future sources of business. As a result, free time becomes not only an independent variable but also a dependent variable depending on the type of work performed by professionals, managers, company owners, and entrepreneurs). However, what constitutes work and recreation at the conference are so closely intertwined that it can really be separated?
Mannell and Reid point out that changing times make it difficult to keep work and leisure separate and require new ways of defining them. As they observed, the earliest research was based on treating work and leisure as separate parts of life, so researchers looked at things like “the distribution of time between work and leisure” or people making trade-offs between earning money. at work) compared to more free time (on vacation). The researchers also examined the relationship between leisure time as an independent variable and how the type of work people were engaged in affected their leisure activities. Some of their theories reflect this perspective, such as the theory that people enjoy leisure activities that are “work-related or task-like,” such as the computer specialist who likes to spend time on the Internet. Another of these theories is compensation theory, which posits that a person seeks to compensate for a deficiency at work or fulfill an unfulfilled need at work, such as a sedentary worker engaging in different activities, such as going on an adventure trip. pleasure expedition. Even the neutral approach is based on the idea that work and leisure are two separate domains, and that people “categorize their experiences of work and leisure” on the basis of this.
However, Mannell and Reid show how leisure and work were defined as separate domains by earlier researchers, while later researchers came up with changing definitions in response to social change. They conclude after describing several studies that show individual differences in how people manage their work and leisure lives.
“Findings of this type show that people differ in how work and leisure are integrated and organized in their lives. There is no single dominant relationship between work and leisure, but rather different possibilities. , important differences in needs, attitudes, and individuality that result from socialization influences.”
Mannel and Reid draw an important distinction between “serious leisure” and “serious recreation,” which refers to the use of leisure time solely for the purpose of enjoyment or relaxation, to develop skills, and to express a desire for long-term career commitment. Although this type of leisure is discussed in the context of research on retirees as more active and serious forms of leisure help them feel positive about themselves and cope better with retirement, this distinction may apply to retirees. take a leisure activity seriously and may later turn it into a career. Two examples of this are the weekend artist who decides to become an artist, or the garage band player who decides to make enough money to make a living on the concert circuit.
This idea of the integration of leisure and work is also expressed in the concept of the continuum of work and leisure practices discussed by Ravenscroft and Gilchrist, and cited in Rojek’s conceptualization of civic labor. The separation of work from the needs of subsistence in Western society has allowed people to develop a variety of activities that express their individuality.” Building on Rojek’s ideas, Ravenscroft and Gilchrist argue that leisure consists of self-employment through which people “develop social, psychological and A ‘society of leisure workers’ has emerged where ‘financial incentives’ can be obtained.” can’t make enough money but another society has. ways to sustain creative activity to support themselves through savings, inheritance, or part-time work.
This kind of conflation of work and leisure is illustrated in Rapuano’s description of some pub musicians in Ireland and Chicago, who may turn their music into work commercially as a result of market-driven, for-profit incentives. Although most musicians still perform for fun, some turn it into a job, such as becoming a session organizer and committing to regularly playing to paying audiences.
Therefore, I would agree that, under certain circumstances, work and leisure can be seen as two very different aspects of life, where people either dislike work or clearly distinguish their activities as work and engage in other leisure activities that are considered non-work. activity. On the other hand, for others, work and leisure can be mixed, for example, creative or professional people who find self-identity and satisfaction through their work. People at lower socio-economic levels and in low-income jobs are more likely to think about work in one sector and leisure in another, while people with higher incomes may have economic reasons for this difference. and because high-status jobs have the luxury of choice, they can choose jobs they really like and find satisfaction.
However, there are exceptions, including the creatives described by Ravenscroft and Gilcrest, and creatives everywhere who love what they do but don’t make a lot of money, such as actors, artists, writers, etc. Live what you do, but continue to love your art.
However, it is more phenomenological to consider this distinction in terms of subjects and the ways in which they define leisure and work, in addition to economic considerations. Structural patterns, such as economic conditions, may contribute to the definition of work and leisure as discrete areas of life or as part of a continuum in which the balance of work and leisure varies according to different people’s lifestyles and time. can be included. The meaning of the activity is also important, as different people may define the activity in different ways in work and leisure activities. What may seem like work to one person (such as a factory worker) may seem like leisure to another (such as a creative worker who is completely satisfied with what they do). Therefore, it is important to combine structural and intrinsic motivation approaches when defining work and leisure time.
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