Leisure in the contemporary United Kingdom Essay

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Leisure is broad runing, diverse and varied. It can include socialization, amusement, humanistic disciplines, diversion, athleticss and vacations. The manner in which people perceive leisure differs with personal circumstance, for illustration, the clip and money an person has. Many things affect engagement in leisure activities ; media representations of females, the support of adult females ‘s athletics and leisure proviso, economic, cultural, political and spiritual restraints upon ingestion of athletics and leisure and the demand for female merely athletics and leisure infinites. Numerous societal divisions influence leisure engagement including societal category, gender, work and unemployment and race. There are assorted definitions of leisure ; nevertheless most tend to believe that it is slightly gratifying. Haywood ( 1995 ) describes leisure as “ aˆ¦relatively freely chosen activities in which it is enjoyable to take part during free clip. ”

However, for one to bask and take part in leisure activities, a figure of complications and barriers need to be overcome. In some signifiers of leisure engagement is frowned upon unless you are of a certain gender, race or category.

Gallic sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has carried out much research into cardinal concerns within modern societal theory and athletics and leisure. He has completed a significant survey-based survey of civilization in France in the 1970s which included involvements in leisure activities. He says that athletics and leisure, like any other pattern, is an object of battles between the fractions of the dominant category and besides between the societal categories.

Bourdieu believed that the on the job category are more attentive to the strength of the organic structure than its form, and be given to travel for merchandises that are inexpensive and alimentary. On the other manus, center and upper categories prefer merchandises that are tasty, healthy and non flesh outing. The differences between the categories are shown through the leisure activities they prefer ; for the on the job category the accent is on activities associated with strength such as weight-lifting. The in-between categories are more concerned with maintaining fit and athletic therefore accent is put on jogging for illustration. Bourdieu illustrated grounds that “ larning ” a athletics or leisure activity is non a inquiry of free pick and single gustatory sensation. It is socially structured, reflecting the ownership and deployment of changing grades and combinations of economic, cultural and symbolic capital. ( Harris, 2005 )

The National Physical Activity and Weight Loss Survey, cited in The Journal of Medicine & A ; Science in Sports & A ; Exercise, reflects the manner in which category influences leisure engagement. The survey was a moderately big undertaking with a sum of 4695 work forces and 6516 adult females take parting. Self-reported physical activity was assessed utilizing inquiries from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Participants who reported no moderate or vigorous-intensity physical activity during leisure clip in a usual hebdomad were classified as inactive. Indexs of societal category were instruction, household income, employment position, and matrimonial position. The consequences showed that within each racial and cultural group, prevalence of leisure-time inaction was highest among participants of lower societal category. This survey indicates that there is a definite nexus between a individual ‘s fundss and leisure engagement.

Consequently, work and unemployment have a immense impact on the handiness of leisure. Due to the current fiscal clime, with the recession striking and infinite persons being made redundant, money is highly limited hence entree to leisure will be restricted. Last twelvemonth one tierce of all British households did non take a vacation due to hapless or low income. ( FHA, 2008 )

Leisure activities which have significant economic demands, such as vacations, will be affected greatly as indicated above by the FHA. However, activities which need merely a little sum of money such as swimming, traveling to the film and eating out will besides be significantly affected. Activities that require no economic outgo will non diminish. These activities including watching telecasting, which is the most popular leisure activity for both males and females ( over two hours per twenty-four hours ) , may increase as a consequence of unemployment. ( National Statistics Office, 2005 )

It has been argued by Parker ( 1983 ) and once more by Veal ( 1987 ) that the mean individual ne’er to the full experiences “ pure leisure ” in that most persons do non hold long plenty periods off from work to be free of its influence. Parker argues that even retired people may be so dog-tired, both mentally and physically, from 40 old ages difficult work that they ne’er to the full retrieve before frailty sets. The unemployed may hold clip and be unaffected by the experiences of work nevertheless they tend to hold really low incomes which hence make it “ impossible ” to utilize their free clip to come into contact with pure leisure. This belief is reinforced by Green, Hebron and Woodard ( 1987 ) who stated that work and leisure complement each other in that free clip has to be earned through work ; paid employment provides the right to leisure.

In add-on to this, people of peculiar race and cultural backgrounds struggle to go involved in leisure in that they have legion issues environing engagement. Religious committednesss and racism within athletics and leisure are cardinal jobs as to why engagement is lower than others. In the Muslim faith for illustration, an person has to pray five times throughout the twenty-four hours numbering over one hr. As a consequence, Muslim people have less clip than people with no faith hence a committedness to leisure is much harder as certain supplication times need to be met, accordingly “ free clip ” is harder to come by.

Sport and leisure exemplify subjugation and domination in footings of racism. Persons from all backgrounds and civilizations have freedom to take what leisure and featuring activities they feel, but it is “ merely within a scope of negotiated and socially produced bounds and force per unit areas ” ( Gruneau, 1983 )

It has been good documented within the media that racism still occurs in athletics. Black and Asiatic sportswomans have been targeted and discriminated against which has a immense impact on leisure in society for such civilizations. Holland ( 1997 ) cited in Leisure Surveies 16, conducted a survey which illustrates such bias against British black football participants. He found that the “ load of maltreatment ” was massively overdone for black participants on opposing squads and even black place participants besides receive eight times more maltreatment than white participants from place fans. Holland besides says that legion black participants fear for their personal safety every bit good their households.

A national survey in 2000 ( General Household Survey ) was conducted in order to happen out the engagement rates people from cultural backgrounds participated in athletics or leisure activities in the old four hebdomads. It was carried out on the telephone. The consequences showed that on mean males and females form cultural backgrounds participated on mean 40 % which is lower than the national norm of 46 % . The chief grounds for this included faith, linguistic communication barriers, negative experiences such as racism and life in disadvantaged countries in that there are a deficiency of installations and besides people merely can non afford to pass money on leisure activities. Besides, 49 % of Indian Women gave the ground that they have place and household duties therefore no clip to pass on leisure.

Research has been carried out into the imbrication of race and ethnicity in footings of how adult females of coloring material are treated in athletics and leisure. Most critics believe that the different cultural backgrounds differ, some challenge ideals of traditional muliebrity such as the Afro/Caribbean and some tend non to, Southern Asian adult females for illustration. Bryan, Dadzie and Scafe ( 1985 ) argue that the image of black adult females “ as long agony, heroic and inactive victims of the ternary subjugation of category, race and gender, is a romantic myth ” . They go onto say that adult females are able to do their ain determinations sing leisure activities and athletics. Womans have the right to dispute their ain personal state of affairss and fortunes hence outside influences are non a ground for non take parting in leisure.

However, issues environing gender can be seen as a cardinal subscriber to leisure. Females are of peculiar importance in understanding the obstructions which people face in order to take part in leisure activities.

“ Gender ‘ was used to mention to the civilization books and behaviors that those born male or female were expected to carry through: one acts masculine or feminine ” ( Butler, J. 1990 cited in Handbook of Sports Studies )

Butler expresses a common sentiment in modern society. The idea of a adult females take parting in a male dominated activity would non hold been accepted in old old ages, nevertheless with the aid of feminist motions, adult females have become much more sceptered over the past 20 old ages, peculiarly in a sporting context. Most constructions in society have been traditionally male dominated, intending adult females have suffered in footings of the handiness of leisure and physical activity. Feminists have supported the deconstruction of many of the boundaries which have helped reproduce male-dominance in athletics and leisure. Boundaries which adult females have had to fight against such as “ prescription of inactive leisure signifiers during gestation ; equal value money for equal attempt and perceptual experiences of what is beautiful athletics ” . ( Jarvine, G. and Maguire, J. 1994 )

The statement “ beautiful athletics ” , made by Jarvine and Maguire, refers historically to the athleticss adult females have been to the full accepted to take portion in. This is backed up by Hargreaves ( 1994 ) cited in Sporting Females who stated that adult females ‘s engagement in physical activity in Victorian Britain was much less developed and the topic of intense argument about the type and sum of activity that was suited to their purportedly more “ delicate ” nature.

In modern society this is still a job as illustrated by Theberge et Al, ( 1997 ) who believed that as a consequence of attitudes refering the sex rightness of peculiar athletics and leisure, adult females who participate in male appropriate athleticss and leisure activities must dispute traditional sex function stereotypes by contending the belief that their engagement is less valuable than work forces ‘s engagement. In many instances Womans are labelled as “ tribades ” if they participate in traditional male dominated athleticss such as football. This has forced many females to entree physical activity by take parting in none-competitive and all female activities such as Aerobics. Aerobics is a cardinal activity which has provided adult females with a safe topographic point where they can take part in physical activity free from competitory force per unit area and has enabled the sexualisation of adult females in athletics to be excluded. It has enabled adult females to be empowered through physical activity ( Whitson, 1994 ) .

Markula ( 1995 ) carried out research into the grounds as to why adult females participate in aerobic exercises which reinforced Whitson ‘s ideas. The consequences showed that adult females did so because it gave them enjoyment, to run into and socialise with other adult females, to pass clip entirely and because it provided a safe topographic point to be physically active therefore these barriers need turn toing in order to do leisure and physical activity more accessible for females.

Furthermore, adult females have less “ free clip ” in footings of general family duties which may reflect the grounds as to why they participate less than males. In the 2007/2008 Active People Survey, conducted by Sport England, 2.81 million adult females participated in athletics whereas 4.04 million males participated.

In decision, there may be a strong component of voluntarism and freedom in the picks people have in footings of leisure engagement, but it is merely within certain restrictions and force per unit areas. ( Jarvine, 1991 )

Gender is a major societal division. In leisure it exemplifies that adult females have much less clip than work forces therefore impacting leisure engagement. Womans are expected to affect themselves in leisure activities that are labelled appropriate for adult females and any female who goes against these unwritten regulations are frowned upon. Such restrictions on entree to different signifiers of leisure and the manner adult females are perceived in “ non-appropriate ” activities have a immense impact on leisure engagement degrees.

It is easy to set up grounds why there is a deficiency of engagement of cultural groups in a athletics such as tennis, such as disbursal, racism and the elect nature of tennis. However, category does non explicate the engagement degrees of such groups in an activity like swimming. It would look that it is the combination of the relationship between cultural individuality and racism which produce certain sporting and leisure forms.

In order for leisure entree and engagement to be improved and increased, such societal divisions need turn toing in that if they are left untasted, it will be about impossible for leisure in the United Kingdom to come on to a phase where everybody is comfy affecting themselves.

Word Count: 2050

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