Polychronicon 131: At your leisure


Published: 30th July 2008

Leisure time - like time itself - is fluid, and keeps changing its social meanings. From a ‘serious' high political perspective there is no history of leisure and leisure is trivial. Such perspectives have long lost their grip on the historical imagination, of course, and we have had histories of leisure now for quite a long time, to the extent that it was possible to publish a summary overview as early as 1990.

How have the history of leisure and our understanding of it developed in recent research? We will pursue this question by looking at two strands of research - first, the expansion of empirical work that followed from interests in social history in the period up to the 1990 summary and, second, the new history of leisure, very much a product of very recent times, that follows a turn to culture in social history.

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