READING GUIDE TO: Clarke J and Critcher C  (1985)  The Devil Makes Work: leisure in capitalist Britain, London:  Macmillan 

NB This is a long and detailed book, written deliberately to be 'clear' and 'readable', with an absence of references and long, scholarly discussion. It is packed with actual examples, although these are very 'British'. My summary and guide tried to extract the main points without many examples. Please note that the subheadings for each chapter are mine, not C and C's! Do read the book for yourselves!

'... it is one of the places where socialism might be constructed. That's why popular culture matters. Otherwise, to tell you the truth, I don't give a damn about it' (S  Hall, quoted in C and C's frontispiece) 
Chapter One -- Idle Hands. We seem to be in a new leisure society of the 1980s. This is an opportunistic development, following mass unemployment. Modern policy still shows the old relation between work and leisure -- one of drudgery and compensation -- and notions of leisure as freedom or choice. There is still a fear that leisure might turn into idleness, and the need to discipline leisure. Progressive education and notions of community seem to be involved too -- the MSC [Manpower Services Commission, a quango established in the 1980s to administer a substantial budget for youth training, including training for the young unemployed, but in a way which would clearly reflect the Government's views of 'proper', 'vocational 'education, well away from the views of the 'educational establishment'] now includes a concern for  'constructive leisure' as a complement of vocationalism, and is calling for government and local initiatives in this field, together with the growth of new professions such as  'recreation manager' (page 7). Social problems are still seen as a matter of anomie, requiring a cultural reintegration. There is also concern for the entertainment business as work: this needs an educated consumer, which may involve  'leisure counselling' (page 10). So, as usual, there are contradictions,  'grounded in complex social forces'. Policy seems to address social groups differently -- the unemployed, the well-off, the dangerous classes, the different genders -- yet all are to be abolished in a new leisure society, where all become equal. This is however a very old idea, showing that leisure is still a site of social conflict 

Chapter Two -- Breaking the Mould  (and breaking with Sociology!). Academic approaches to leisure only offer one possibility: there is lots of commercial and state research involved as well, although this can often be ignored because it is too closely tied to policy making. Such work forecasts rather than analyses. However, the data is often found in work like that of Roberts, or Parker, and in the Community Studies tradition too. These approaches do stress the social rather than the individual factors, although they can be criticised for their use of the concept  'culture'-- as in Hoggart (1957). In sociology, leisure is seen as a sub-division within an academic division of labour -- its objects are separated and studied via grand social theories. There is no grasp of leisure fitting into  'society as a complete structure' (page 15). There is no attention to the inter-relations of class, community, nor of the inadequacies of the usual ways these concepts are defined. Four texts can be taken as typical: they all involve both research and original contributions to defining the field. C and C wish to engage in criticism of these key texts to reveal their own position: 

(a)  Parker [see selected references below]. This was an early attempt to link work and leisure, seeing leisure as free time. The analysis largely ignored categories such as housewives, or the unemployed. Experience of work for Parker contextualises the experience of leisure via a series of compensations, satisfactions, and detachments. We end with the distinctive patterns -- extension, opposition, and neutrality  (page 18). Parker is critical of the effects of work and aware that leisure offers an illusory freedom only, but it is a functionalist analysis, offering an ideal type, with no account of agency. There is also a cultural determinism. It ignores groups like housewives -- seeing housework as work is one solution to this problem. It places working men at the centre, and paid work  (whether these are central is highly debatable, of course). In particular, the family structure that Parker describes is simply unanalysed. 

(b) Young and Willmott. Their study, entitled The Symmetrical Family tries to show how families were organised first around production and then consumption. Somehow [ as a result of functional adaptation?], they would progress towards a privatised, nucleated, and symmetrical form. Social class did have an effect, but class was defined mostly in terms of things like car ownership. Young and Wilmott used a lot of factual data but there were definite problems with their methodology  (largely survey based). Their sample under-represents the young and unskilled, for example. The historical trends they claim to identify are based on extrapolation, and there must be a question about their universality or progressiveness. The conventional family may well be in decline, for example . The family is treated as an isolated variable, and there is an over-emphasis on consumption and the privatised nature of family life. Certainly, there are no nasty or dysfunctional aspects of family life described here. 

(c)  The Rapoports. Work, family and leisure intersect in a life cycle, which is maturational. This leads to certain major 'preoccupations', such as the adolescent search for identity or the problems young adults have in identifying with social institutions. These preoccupations lead to, among other things, a need for flexible leisure. This study does get the issue of leisure as a matter of meaning or culture, and it is critical of the leisure market. Families at least are seen as dynamic over time, but they appear still as variables in a life cycle. There are problems with the concept of life cycle and with case-studies cited however -- they are not representative. The life-cycle is seen as a basic biologistic matter, for example when describing youth  (page 35). Naturally, there is no marxist or feminist analysis, no notion of the social construction of identities. Class is simply obsolete for the Rapoports.

(d)  Roberts. The concern here is how to theorise the growth of leisure.  Roberts turns first to recreation research, that is market research on recreation, but finds it ignores the 'big five' -- smoking, drinking, gambling, watching television, sex -- and contains little on motives. The second option is to turn to  'mass society theory' -- Roberts sees this as a species of class domination theory, which sees ideology everywhere, especially a struggle for legitimation. Roberts says these theories are over-done, and cannot account for the complexity of modern leisure, which arises largely from consumer demand, which cannot be controlled. (this leads Roberts to the view that a mixed economy is the only option, rather than comprehensive socialist planning). Finally, Roberts develops a pluralist view where there are different  'taste publics'. These taste publics are affected by a number of social networks including family and gender. Social problems arise from anomie -- normlessness -- rather than alienation -- a loss of control.
C and C say it is good to see Roberts reject  the usual terms of the argument, and they agree that mass society theory is inadequate -- yet they deny that this rules out all varieties of class domination theory.  They argue that  such a theory should not be  rejected if it is merely unable to predict the actual course of leisure -- there is no close correspondence between classes and actual culture, even though class is clearly important. There is a surface/depth model  (page 41), where leisure is a surface feature produced by other levels in society -- the economic political and ideological levels of modern marxist theory (see Althusser) . It is quite right that there can be no simple marxist theory of leisure, and that leisure cannot be abstracted from a theory devoted to explaining economics. However, pluralism avoids the issue of the fixity of patterns of leisure, and offers no explanations of these patterns, but merely a description of  'how complex it all is' (page 42). Relations between leisure and other elements are also vague. Thus,  'We simply dissent from a model... which explains social life as the aggregated or individual choices made within social networks, somehow shaped by the interplay of free - flowing variables' (page 42). 
Roberts's social totality collapses into functionalism when challenged: there is a deep assumption that all the aspects and all the groups have a common function to integrate society. The apparent independence of leisure in modern societies is, however, only because of the market. Class memberships clearly structure four of the big five leisure pursuits  [C and C exempt sex, for some reason, although there is a great deal of work suggesting that sexual activity is also structured by social class]. Class and gender lend meaning to the aspects of leisure that Roberts wants to explain: ideological influences explain patterns better than his social networks  (page 44). In Roberts's notion of totality, the patterns and processes produced by economic, political, and ideological pressures are lost. We need to see leisure as a microcosm of these processes rather than just a matter of production and distribution. We also need an active sense of culture rather than sociological determinism, and a notion of social agency rather than an individual one. We also need to move beyond a  model of interacting sociological variables to try and trace a  'double movement' of constraint and creation. We need to show how this has flowed through history  [see Chapter 3]. Readers might be puzzled by this programme, though, and wonder how it fits the sociology of leisure. 

Pause for reflection [and set up the themes of the next Chapter]. It is possible to see history as a matter of struggles rather than as some (ideological) smooth progression. The influence of work must be recognised, and we must explain how this affects changes in leisure and various political initiatives to enforce leisure patterns. These might include making the demarcation between work and leisure a  'natural' one, or 'splitting ... needs desires and expectations'   to fit the modern conception of work. We need to see how leisure has been policed, coerced and made to meet demands for conformity -- as in the regulation of the music hall. We need to focus on form rather than content -- as in the licensing of drink. We need to trace how leisure came to be a matter of consumption, and how it became commercialised: how members became customers and then consumers. We need to critically re-examine the  'much vaunted democracy of the marketplace' and its inequalities, and question the purely negative sanctions available to consumers. We need to see how the relations of work (and the changes in gender and the family) lead to work and leisure becoming separated in time and space. We should examine how the 'woman's place' is also constructed, and how it varies. We should look at conflicts over public space and how the State in particular tries to discipline them. It is particularly necessary to have all these struggles clarified for advocates of the  'leisure society'. 

Chapter Three -- The Devil Makes Work. In general, industrialisation destroys leisure first and then reforms it via  'struggles, conflicts and alliances of social groups'. E P Thompson has written the founding book here [The Making of the English Working Class] although it is mostly about working-class leisure and institutional leisure, and thus mostly about male leisure. C and C offer a history in 40-year slices, which they admit is somewhat  'crude and arbitrary'. 

Britain in the 1800s was not  'Merrie England'. There was both continuity and change. The leisure/work boundary was more blurred and negotiable, set by custom and the pace of the agricultural year. There was no particular commitment to work, as in the  'Protestant ethic' thesis. Instead, there was a major role for the public house, market days, fairs, wakes, Holy days, and 'traditional sports'. These featured violence and brutality, but were patronised by aristocrats too, so that they offered no threat to social order. There was instead a negotiated settlement, a spurious unified Englishness. Eventual objections, from the Church of England and the puritans, were supported by the privatisation of land, increased penalties for theft, and a number of political controls and regulations. Eventually, there was a separation of upper-class leisure for aristocrats (such as organised horse racing)  and the bourgeoisie  (the theatre, literature, seaside holidays). The real underlying factors explaining this general change turned on the emergence of factory discipline. 


(a)  The 1840s. The era began with economic depression, and a shift of political power to the bourgeoisie after the 1832 Reform Act. Urbanism began to grow from about 1850. The emergence of factory discipline led to fewer holidays, and the suppression of popular culture activities -- for example the Poor Law defined travelling entertainers as vagabonds, and  new anti--bloodsports legislation was enforced by a more efficient police force [seen as a class issue, page 57]. Some activities went underground, and alternatives flourished -- such as cricket, or railway excursions. Drinking remained, as did entertainment in pubs. The  'rational recreation movement' emerged, and museums and libraries were provided on the public rates. Overall, there was imposition from above and from industrial discipline. Sexual differentiation appeared with the emergence of the bourgeois home as a female domain. 

(b)  The 1880s. There was an expansion of leisure as hours of work grew shorter, and the standard of living rose. Middle-class patterns of leisure began to expand downwards, and local government began to regulate leisure activities. There was an emergence of commercialism. At the same time, working-class organisation increased, led by male adults. There were new kinds of regulation for the work force, including the regulation of leisure and holidays (page 62). The bourgeoisie reorganised sport according to the principles of muscular Christianity, and their influence spread -- for example football was originally dominated by public schoolboys, although they later lost control. This moral crusade was accompanied by commercialised mass entertainment. Some sports were still segregated by class -- tennis, or cricket (cricket had been appropriated back from the working class) -- and there was a marked division of labour in different sports. Alternative recreations arose as part of the bourgeois domestication of the working class, although these reforms attracted some support from below too -- as in the spread of interest in music. There was also regulation by local authorities, who provided, for example, parks, baths, libraries and the police force, who were  'soon evident as a presence at almost any public activity' (page 65). There were also pervasive laws and licensing as forms of control. Commercialisation too, as capitalism increased its hold. Thus traditional pubs became music halls which were then more tightly regulated, as were funfairs and circuses: pubs themselves were policed, and their functions narrowed to the mere sale of drink. Working men's clubs arose, inspired by middle-class temperance movements. A number of respectable alternatives were offered -- some educational, including the WEA [Workers' Educational Association] , some sporting, such as various cycling or rambling clubs. The theme of  'collective self improvement' rather than a more passive commercialism was dominant here too. In this way, leisure  'reflects' economic, political, and ideological or cultural ideas and institutions: it became segregated as a separate sphere, open to specialization and institutionalisation, featuring a split between the provider and the audience. 

(c)  The 1920s. Leisure was becoming central to the economy, and regional and sexual differences were emerging -- thus the cinema became favoured by the young, female, and working-class person  (page 72). There was considerable American influence, as in the field of  'light music' (page 73). The spread of radio listening also confirms the shift towards home - based leisure, and the beginning of the modern  'woman's place'. Holidays, the use of the countryside, and spectator sports became important. Cricket both united and divided the classes; football catered for male working-class persons and became organised and commercialised; and there was racing and betting, and new sports such as the rather odd case of speedway  [once, more popular than football]. There were pubs, working men's clubs, chapels, and co-ops. The patterns were uneven, following the uneven development of the economy: for example skill became redefined and jobs moved south while new classes appeared -- a new middle-class and the nouveaux riche of  the 1920s. Home based and do-it-yourself leisure emerged. Women participated in leisure as both customers and employees. Commercialisation finally produced a mass market. 

(d) The 1960s. Standards were rising, leisure became more family centred, youth cultures and ethnic leisure emerged. There was a mixture of both State and commercial provision. Affluence was rising after years of austerity, and there was more advertising, more credit, and real rises in income. Family centredness became important even for men, as a result of affluence and privatisation [a very brief reference to the classic but 'bourgeois' study The Affluent Worker -- Goldthorpe et al (1969), perhaps?]. Youth leisure pursuits displayed all the paradoxes of commercialism and dynamism. The growing cultural diversity included ethnic restaurants and music. Some people were still excluded, of course -- females, the old, the unemployed. Leisure policy was increasingly developed by bodies such as the Arts Council, or the Sports Council, and there was a large leisure industry, based on commodities such as popular music records or drink. There were also, however, growing moral objections to such leisure lifestyles [as in moral panics?]. 

[This account seems to me to be interesting, but chatty and assertive, rather than strictly historical. The whole account seems to be driven by strong Marxist convictions -- for example, the contradictions identified in the 1960s stem from  'reflections of a society fundamentally undemocratic, materialist, and unequal'  page 89. The tone is still culturalist/polemical, and rather like E P Thompson!  There is also an interesting parallel with the similarly gramscian account of  'settlements and crises' in the history of the relations between state and education in Grace (1987). An interesting recent study of working class leisure, including participation in WEAs, lending libraries and working class cultural centres argues for a much more 'active' and self-empowering use of even 'licensed' bourgeois culture aimed at 'domestication' -- see Rose (2002). However, this was in the first period mentioned by C and C, the late 1800s and early 1900s]. 

Chapter Four -- the 'leisure economy'.  This chapter looks at the combination of market and state and at the issue of choice, especially consumer choice. Choice is still largely  'a matter of hard cash' (page 101). It is still underpinned by market forces, and driven by capitalist development: for example, ownership is still highly concentrated despite the apparent diversity of products and the market is still controlled by a few large corporations, such as Rank - Hovis - McDougal. Consumers do have an effect in the market, but we must not overestimate their power to influence choice. It is industry that  innovates. To take one example, the leisure pursuit of drinking was clearly affected by the policy of concentration among breweries and pubs, which led to rationalization and the reduction of brands. This trend was successfully resisted  by consumer organisations such as CAMRA [ the Campaign for Real Ale] leading to the growth of independent brewers, and the emergence of new products from the big companies -- but the big companies soon adapted and diversified to meet these new demands. Thus  'monopoly structure is [still] the dominant economic form of leisure capital' (page 106). 

In another example, leisure in the home and trends towards privatisation, we still find important differences between men and women (although there are difficulties with categories such as needlework or knitting, and deciding whether these are work or leisure).  In this way, the so-called private sphere is also shaped -- for example the growth of do-it-yourself is linked with the increased value of private homes  [and has indeed become dominated by large corporations in the 1990s]. If we take home-based leisure such as listening to music or the radio, or reading newspapers, we find that the products here are also supplied by big corporations, such as Reed International, or Thorn - EMI. Watching television also involves us in a field dominated by concentrated ownership of television companies, and even the BBC is not entirely separate, as when it offers co - productions  (page 112). Business sponsors sport and culture, and this helps maintain the 'links between economic and cultural capital'  (pages 113-4). There are also implications for television coverage: for example there might be contradictions if sport is connected too closely to advertising and work, breaking its illusory independence  (page 115). 

So, do we have a mass culture? C and C feel there is too much diversity in the market for that  [!]. There are, for example important segments in the market -- the youth market or the health food market, for example. There is no mass culture but nor is there plurality:  '... the "freely choosing" rational consumer is a myth' (page 118). There are hidden economic, social, and cultural determinations of  'choice', and economic determinants affect what is offered for sale: for example, the market structures the range of newspapers that are available. Consumers are themselves constructed as groups of  'tastes' , yet market research and  'too much sociology' represents these as if they were personal preferences. The diversity conceals the structure of production and choice. 

There are, of course, modern anxieties about consumption, its  'excess' or  'misuse', as in glue-sniffing. These arise from the cultural freedom that one gains once the commodity is purchased: this too may need to be policed if social conventions and education break down. This concern is again motivated by business, however -- for example, we need to prevent football violence because we wish to attract families as consumers  (page 121). The State, of course, historically regulates our leisure, so we need a theory of the State. This should not offer a vulgar class domination approach, where the State is a kind of conspiracy: we need to stress this to fight off Roberts, but it is is 'not necessary to go to the other extreme' [page 122 ]  [i.e. to an independent or neutral state]. The State is complex, and it plays different roles: sometimes it legislates on work and leisure against capitalism  (but still in favour of markets)  (page 123). The State always acts within a taken for granted structure of capitalist society. It licences leisure to prevent excess; it controls public space (and there is a reference to the mugging project on page 125); it prevents offences against public order, which are usually aimed at the poor and powerless. The State also regulates families. It uses leisure to rehabilitate as well as discipline, as in policies of Intermediate Treatment, or social clubs for delinquents  (page 127): thus the concerns of welfare policy are also legitimate areas for leisure policy. The state provides the infrastructure for leisure -- the roads, the lakes and so on. It also produces users for its facilities too -- via education, school sports, the arts, life skills programmes, visits. Education is seen as appropriate leisure for young criminals, and for adults, via the WEA  [Raymond Williams will turn in his grave!] -- these organisations were originally  genuinely 'popular', but are now threatened with incorporation [as is the Open University -- page 130]. 

The State also provides culture, such as museums, galleries, heritage  [as with other marxist analysts, C and C see this as a way of representing elite culture as some sort of traditional English culture]. There is a belief in the civilising influence of this culture. There are some State - funded, community - based initiatives too, designed to incorporate the deviants  (page 132). These incorporate notions of sport and Englishness, and the benefits of cross - class contact. Sports like football, of course, offer a more complex case, since it is already popular: the State's function here is to substitute rational alternatives. These are sometimes met with resistance [occurring here for the first time]: street football, mass trespass.  There are special efforts in youth work to reach those who are unclubbable, by offering detached youth work, or perhaps adventure playgrounds. Policy here is still plagued by the old litany --  'off the street, under supervision, given something constructive to do' (page 134). 

What of the new leisure palaces and centres, as in the policy of the Sports Council of 'sport for all'? They will offer wider access, but they also cater for professionals and managers. 'The policy confirms non-participation by females, the unemployed, the semi-skilled and  the non-earners. These differences are suppressed under the policy'. Access to sport is divisive, and is likely to be open to the most articulate groups, representing consumer demand. Leisure for the unrepresented is likely to remain as welfare or compensation, as in inner-city initiatives to reintegrate the excluded. This is still the official function of sport especially. 

The State's policy towards ethnic minorities has varied from one of assimilation into the nation to the new concept of multiculturalism. Ethnic minorities appear as the weird Sports Council's 'target groups', and as those catered for by special 'access' policies on BBC 2 and Channel 4 [one of Hall's complaints -- see file]. Is this a pluralist policy? No: structural inequalities remain between these groups, and policies operate with the wrong categories -- ethnic  'minorities' face problems because they are powerless. They do not need sponsored access, but real access. They have been interpellated as minorities. This shows evidence for a marxist theory of the State integrating and controlling, despite its apparent encouragement of diversity  (page 140). It shows the state trying to  'take account'. 

Thatcherism has rolled back the State, cut the provision for sport, increased spending on the police, and broken some Labour attempts at local democracy, client involvement, and positive discrimination -- as at the GLC  [the Greater London Council, abolished by the Conservative government]. It is important to retain  'no illusions [about these Labour policies] but they do point to important possibilities for the development of new political action and organization' (page 142). Meanwhile, there is resistance by irrational consumers at least. 

[This is a rather odd analysis, relying not on Gramsci as such but on older themes in CCCS work. The politics run the risk of  'ultra - leftism' where everything is seen in terms of policing and control. No leisure policy seems adequate or genuine: those from 'above' are about control and integration, while those 'from below' arise from illusory choice. Labour's efforts are best seen as 'incorporation' , but Conservative dismantling of the corporate State is also flawed. We know where this is leading of course --towards the triumphant demonstration of  the power of  'hegemony' to explain everything as usual]. 

Chapter 5 -- social divisions. [C and C manage at last to consider 'resistance' ]. Subcultures exist, based on class, race, age, gender, and these exert a fundamental influence [on 'readership'?]. They offer segments in the market, rather than a simple consumer model  [and there is a link with education, page 146]. The tastes of these segments are affected by material and cultural forces: our society has important social divisions, and is far from being a unified leisure society. The segments interact, although there is a tendency to play one off against the other. Let's take class first: 

We begin with the old issue of whether class is redundant in the new society. C and C operate with a three class model here, with 'working', 'middle' and an additional upper-class. For the upper class, leisure is  'symbolically crucial', in that it solidifies the group and bestows status. Middle-class groups are split between copying the upper class and the working class; they are users of public services, but there are subtle differences in their leisure activities, which are not apparent in official statistics. For example, there are crucial differences between playing golf and playing football, although both tend to be described as  'engaging in sport' [ the analysis could do with a reference to Bourdieu  here]. Middle-class groups formed social networks,, including churches, in suburbia, and it is this that makes them a segment. Working-class groups form networks too, but these are different, with fewer resources and with more improvisation, and are based largely on neighbourhoods. [the Affluent Worker debate is revisited on page 150f]. The working-class has  'recomposed' offering a merely pragmatic attachment to work and society, where they are susceptible to appeals based on  'the British way and strong leadership' (page 151). C and C deny that leisure patterns are decisive in this recomposition, since they do not believe  that  'leisure as a whole has a direct ideological meaning'. However, there are still elements of class struggle apparent in modern Britain, for example, contests over public space, especially the street. As the authorities win, the working class gets more privatised. However, the working class is internally divided, especially over race -- the working class is  'eaten away by its own prejudices' (page 153). Racial differences appear in leisure for example in family, religion, music, and sexual relations. [This section seems to me to be really elusive -- I must confess I am still unsure as to whether class is a strong factor or not]. 

Age is another important dimension: it is both biological and social (for example retirement from work is a mark of old age, and old females especially suffer from  'role - loss' (page 154). The old become peripheral to the market, and find themselves often living alone --'privatisation with a vengeance' (page 155). In this way the domination of work continues: the old face an enforced dependence on home life rather than any kind of choice. At the other end, the notion of  'adolescence' is an historical creation. It also affects leisure opportunities especially for females, who develop a  'bedroom culture'. Young adult males are seen as a problem, a form of economic structuring of their identity. Patterns of rioting lead to social control initiatives, including leisure initiatives. 

Gender differences are still important. A female career often involves loss of leisure and child-rearing and there is a timeless nature to domestic work. Leisure reflects these different interests and  'realises' them  (page 161), expressing and validating social divisions, in a 'double relationship'. [CCCS work tends to value these double relationships and double articulations, of course, and we find them in the earliest work -- see file]. Leisure celebrates gender differences, as in the connection between sport and maleness: female sports are graceful but ghettoised, while demands for greater female participation invoke notions of a 'proper woman', and media pressure, which largely demonstrates the 'weakness' of women. There are clear sexual undertones in leisure pursuits like disco dancing. The family is based on a number of structural, cultural and ideological elements and determinants, including economic functions, a sexual division of labour, and anxieties about normal families and normal women. The costs and benefits of family life are also socially patterned: for some family life is simply hard work, while for others there are some definite expressive functions, some intrinsic satisfactions  (page 169). Holiday taking can be a major family project, offering altered times and places, a balance of the familiar and the unknown, sometimes even a reversal of values leading to a possible  'reclamation of a self in communication with nature', or a kind of play, but these can be merely a  'necessary illusion' to keep the leisure/work distinction. Holidays too are affected by political and economic determinants, class differences, differences of race and age, and gender. 

These arguments offer caution again about the notion of consumer choice -- which supports the general point that leisure is a  'reflection and expression of the main social divisions of class, age and gender' (page 177). These divisions simply seem obvious, of course. There are difficulties of measuring the effects of these differences though, especially in terms of what they mean to the people involved -- see page 178, for example. 

Chapter Six -- Leisure and post-industrial society. C and C gather various predictions made by Roberts and Parker  (page 182). Parker is sceptical about the new technology, for example, while Roberts predicts the diffusion of middle-class styles. C and C argue that we need proper discussion of the post-industrial society thesis, and they offer one, from page 185 onwards. [It covers the usual ground, including predictions about the change of work, a shift from manufacturing to service industry, and many of the themes that were to be fully discussed in the  'New Times' work of later years]. Here, they want to return to themes such as whether post-industrialism means the end of the working classes -- and comment that changes in occupational categories need not necessarily mean changes in work conditions, so that many  'white collar' jobs might still offer proletarian wages and conditions. [Much of this seems based on the famous discussion by Kumar, who is acknowledged on page 189]. Similarly, the fate of the new technology will depend ultimately on economic forces, rather than offering any impulse 'of its own': Marx's notion of a  'reserve army of the unemployed' seems to offer a better prediction  (page 194). New communications technology will often merely appear to offer choice rather than enhance control by consumers -- and could mean more surveillance and control by the authorities. Technological determinism is denied, the entire system of capitalism is different from just a (technological) level of manufacture, so that the basic concerns of power and interest remain (page 198). 

Postscript. Choice is a  'compensation for the absence of control'. Surface changes can conceal deeper continuities. The market satisfies consumers and does  'reproduce itself as a working model of society' (page 200). It becomes pseudo - universal. Consumers do restore meanings to commodities, although they  'modify but cannot challenge the market/consumer model' (page 201). The real role of the State is to regulate the market, and it does this in a number of ways -- it can offer universal, even free provision, or regulate employment to reproduce inequalities. Its policies may alter the balance between choice and control, but choice remains at the heart of capitalist ideologies. Denying choice, for example, would be seen as  'totalitarian' (page 204). People compensate by focusing on the few things they can choose, and accept a limited influence. In Britain, the Government openly backs business  (page 206), especially since the Conservatives came to power [even more so under new Labour?]. Divisions have sharpened, the unemployed have been squeezed. Corporate capital is still at the centre of policy. Is there a prospect of resistance via the decline of the work ethic? Or a threat offered by rising expectations? C and C think not, because unemployment is still unevenly distributed, [almost a 2- nation argument here ] and the 'reserve army' idea disciplines the work force. 

Chapter Seven -- Conclusion. Looking back, C and C describe the earlier arguments as sketchy, even  'easy', and claimed that they have deliberately followed a  'publishers' brief' here  (page 212). Their background lies in cultural studies, in marxism and feminism. They used C Wright-Mills's arguments against grand theory and small-scale empiricism. They like the work of C Wright- Mills, although he is prone to a  'mass society theory' (page 213). However, he did try to link history with sociological analysis, and with a political commitment to freedom, the ability to formulate choices, and enlarge their scope -- and this is their task too. The work of Raymond Williams, especially his Long Revolution, developed the idea of culture as a  'structure of feeling'. Williams was against consumerism, the private relations of the market, the loss of control over life, the notion of choice as compensation, economic life as phoney exchanges between equals, and predicted withdrawal and alienation. 

Both writers ignored females, however, which lead C and C to the work of Barratt, especially Women's Oppression Today, and attempts to link marxism and feminism. The argument goes that inequalities are rooted in a sexual division of labour both at work and in the home (page 221). There are some oddities in this work, such as relying on literature as evidence for imagery, and an almost total absence of discussion of leisure. There seems to be no resistance to patriarchal families either. Nevertheless it is necessary to look at families, and to recognise that gender does structure leisure in a central, not a marginal way. 

So, the book explores the social and historical construction of leisure, and how it is mediated through various groups. Meanings can of course be created, but the capacity to do so is uneven. The system requires ideological work to articulate its elements: this is best described through the concept 'hegemony'. [C and C quote Williams' definition here (Williams 1977), which is interesting, because it still uses terms like 'saturation'-- page 228]. 


'in Marxism and Literature, Raymond Williams has summarised the concept of "hegemony" which expresses this relationship:
'' it sees the relations of domination and subordination, in their forms as practical consciousness, as in effect a saturation of the whole process of living -- not only of political and economic activity, nor only of manifest social activity, but of the whole substance of lived identities and relationships, to such a depth that the pressures and limits of what can ultimately be seen as a specific economic, political and cultural system seem to most of us the pressures and limits of simple experience and common sense. Hegemony is not then only the articulate upper level of  'ideology', nor are its forms of control only those ordinarily seen as  'manipulation' or  'indoctrination'. It is a whole body of practices and expectations, over the whole of living: shaping perceptions of ourselves and our world." (page 110).'

This concept is useful for cultural studies, and it explains how leisure is integral to hegemonic struggle. It shows how that these struggles get habituated, and forgotten. 

Epilogue. This focuses on the final concern -- the possibilities of social change. C and C discuss the effect of the miners' strike in 1984, for example. The role of the media became important here, and one tactic was to offer coverage of Wimbledon as a diversion! This shows that leisure is an important element of an ideology and a politics of persuasion, standing for the realisation of freedom  (page 233). Can there be socialist leisure? At first, this will look abstract, and seem to run counter to immediate pleasures (an example here is the policy on the sale of council houses -- immediately popular, and leaving socialists with the difficult task of highlighting long-term damage etc). We need a socialist cultural politics first, to displace the emphasis on the economic and political. There are many dilemmas -- for example, to campaign for full employment makes socialism look impossible, or irrelevant. Better, surely, to undermine dependency on employment, for example by providing a minimum income. We need worthwhile jobs only, a socialist conception of work, which could include work in the home. The GLC seems to offer some alternatives here. We should make socialism fun, and demonstrate that egalitarian leisure is possible (and a CND festival is cited here! p 237).'Rock against Racism' showed the way, and demonstrated that the personal is indeed the political. We also need to rethink families and the sexual division of labour. However, overall the main political issue is the use of time, the socialised control of time  (page 239). In this, of course, [struggles over and definitions of] leisure is central.

Selected References

Barratt S (1980) Women's Oppression Today, London: Verso
Goldthorpe J, Lockwood D, Bechoffer E and Platt J (1969) The Affluent Worker in the Class Structure, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grace G (1987) 'Teachers and the State in Britain: a changing relation' in Lawn M and Grace G (eds) Teachers: the culture and politics of work, Barcombe: the Falmer Press
Hoggart R (1957) Uses of Literacy, London: Chatto and Windus
Parker S (1983) Leisure and Work, London: Allen and Unwin
Rapoport R and Rapoport R (1975)  Leisure and the Family Cycle, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul
Roberts K (1978) Contemporary Society and the  Growth of Leisure, London: Longman
Rose J (2002) The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, New Havena nd London: Yale University Press
Williams R (1965) The Long Revolution, Harmondsworth: Penguin
Williams R (1977) Marxism and Literature Oxford: Oxford University Press
Thompson E (1968) The Making of the English Working Class, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books
Young M and Willmott P (1975) The Symmetrical Family, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books