[iDC] Re: The Ethics of Leisure

andrew mount andrew at thinc.org
Tue Jan 9 14:05:56 EST 2007

Ever heard of Ivan Illich's 'the right to useful unemployment and its
professional enemies' (ISBN:0714526630)...
Its perhaps a forerunner to some of these ideas. I believe he follows up the
thread in  "shadow work', which may be more well known.

On 1/8/07 7:57 PM, "Ryan Griffis" <ryan.griffis at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Jan 7, 2007, at 11:02 AM, idc-request at bbs.thing.net wrote:
>> This is the intellectual market dialectic as I see it - As more noise
>> flourishes, one has to be on lists, blogs, etc constantly - the
>> more the
>> better.  On the other hand, this consumes one's life to point where
>> there
>> can be nothing but practice.
> Patrick's post called up some recent reading - Chris Rojek's "Culture
> and Leisure" (2000), where he has a pretty thorough analysis/history
> of criticism surrounding leisure and work. This discussion on the
> list seems to be covering some similar territory...
> Rojek talks about 2 kinds of leisure (borrowing from someone, whom i
> can't remember) - "Serious leisure" and "casual leisure" - serious
> being the kind of activity that is focused and "beneficial" to life
> goals (participating on lists, or going to art museums for example),
> casual being things like drinking and surfing the tv. He does a
> pretty good job of critiquing this dichotomy while finding a use for
> classifying leisure time. Most significantly, he discusses the need
> for an "ethics of leisure" to help shift things from the "work ethic"
> that dominates US life especially. he marginally gets into the
> implications of distributed technology upon both of these "ethics",
> mostly using the cache of Western critical theory surrounding
> rationality and commodity fetishism (predominantly the Frankfurt
> School).
> he also goes over some post 1970s theories that attempt to solve the
> problem of work, following post industrial criticism (Galbraith, etc)
> - namely in ideas like guaranteed wages, decreasing work hours,
> redistributing wealth to narrow the income gap, etc. he has some good
> criticism of these as solutions, especially the idea that more
> leisure time wouldn't improve many peoples' lives without developing
> a radical ethics of leisure. he goes a little too far in the
> direction of arguing "human nature" as a barrier to solving wealth
> inequities for my predisposition, but he makes some valid points
> nonetheless.
> anyway, i thought i'd throw out another discourse around ethics that
> seems to intersect with the discussion here...
> best,
> ryan
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