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The absence of institutionalised childcare and education during the lockdowns, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, put parents who worked from home in a stressful situation in which they had to combine the roles of teacher, parent and employee. This study aims to analyse how the closure of kindergartens and schools during the March–May 2020 lockdown in Slovenia changed the reported allocation of time, and perceived emotional exhaustion of parents working from home, compared to nonparents. We also focus on the differences in the impacts of lockdown between genders, status of family-provision and employment sectors of parents. Using data from a survey carried out on cohabiting and married individuals in Slovenia and applying a difference-in-difference estimator, we find that parents incurred a significant increase in their unpaid work burden, reductions in time devoted to paid work and leisure and suffered an increase in emotional exhaustion. Namely, Slovenian parents reported roughly 2 h less of paid and 4 h more of unpaid work per day during the lockdown in comparison to nonparents. The analysis also demonstrates that females performed more unpaid work and enjoyed less leisure before the lockdown, but the lockdown adjustment did not further increase gender inequality.
Chapter 6 discusses the daily activities of older hippies. By exploring what they currently do for fun and comparing it with their past leisure activities, this chapter explores patterns of continuity and change in practice and meaning. It also suggests that the hippies diverse leisure repertoires and ethics of play significantly contribute to their wellbeing in later life.
There is no group of individuals more iconic of 1960s counterculture than the hippies – the long-haired, colorfully dressed youth who rebelled against mainstream societal values, preached and practiced love and peace, and generally sought more meaningful and authentic lives. These 'flower children' are now over sixty and comprise a significant part of the older population in the United States. While some hippies rejoined mainstream American society as they grew older, others still maintain the hippie ideology and lifestyle. This book is the first to explore the aging experience of older hippies by examining aspects related to identity, generativity, daily activities, spirituality, community, end-of-life care, and wellbeing. Based on 40 in-depth interviews with lifelong, returning, and past residents of The Farm, an intentional community in Tennessee that was founded in 1971 and still exists today, insights into the subculture of aging hippies and their keys to wellbeing are shared.
This chapter covers three main areas of activity: the labour market, education, and leisure. These three areas all overlap and interact within the scope of the human life course and have important implications for health and socio-economic outcomes. They are also interdependent with the material factors and the social networks examined in other chapters. All are inequitably distributed and are important for the health and well-being of the general population. People with mental health conditions are disadvantaged in all three of these areas, especially those with severe and enduring conditions, and work, leisure, and education can all play a role in causing and perpetuating mental ill-health. Factors that are integral to the mental health condition may contribute to excluding people from these important activities, but there are additional extrinsic factors that also play a part in this exclusion. The existence of such external factors supports the application of a social model of disability for people with mental health conditions and questions the assumptions of an approach that views exclusion solely in terms of a person’s ‘illness’. This has implications for the rehabilitation and the personal and social recovery of people with enduring mental health conditions.
Sequels, spinoffs, serials, and other kinds of generic works are prevalent in Nollywood filmmaking and popular with fans. These spinoffs and other generic works are characterized by a degree of familiarity, made evident in their repetitive and or affiliative dimensions. According to Adejunmobi, familiarity as a mode of media engagement in Nollywood generates specific pleasures connected to the repetitive dimensions of the films and television shows. These highly repetitive works also sustain a type of leisure activity for viewers without dedicated leisure time who combine Nollywood viewing with everyday work. This form of leisure is identified as a leisure of concomitance.
Women’s social groups and gatherings in Malawi, whether physical or virtual, are often dismissed as something not to be taken seriously, as they are imagined to be places where nothing useful but chitchat and gossip will emerge. Nevertheless, these spaces, as sites of leisure where women can engage in macheza (play), continue to play an important role in how urban women variously experience pleasure. Mtenje considers social media groups for women and bridal showers not only as spaces where women are free from male interference, which, in itself, invokes pleasure, but also as spaces where patriarchal norms can be and often are reinforced.
In the epilogue, I offer a coda on the pursuit of leisure. While schools (teachers and administrators) can make strides toward cultivating leisure in students, the art of leisure is fundamentally a subjective task. It is learning how to be a person – how to live with and contend with the angels and demons that plague human existence.
In this chapter, I consider the outlines of a pedagogy for leisure, offering examples that aim to show, more than tell, what a leisure-informed pedagogy looks like. While there is no surefire recipe or formula for leisure, certain parameters can help us cultivate leisure. The three guidelines outlined in the previous chapter – apprenticeship, study, and epiphany – are present in all three examples noted below, but each illustrates one particular guideline more prominently than the others.
In the spate of scholarship on boredom over the past two decades, the moral character of boredom has received little attention (Elpidorou, ). This is striking because boredom’s ancient precursor, acedia, was considered to be one of the deadliest vices and the source of several other destructive vices, including gluttony, lust, and anger (Bunge, ). In this respect, modern boredom arguably parallels acedia, as it is also casually linked to numerous problematic, arguably immoral behaviors. The state of boredom is morally significant because it adversely impacts both moral reasoning and the vision of flourishing that guides moral reasoning. Boredom is not simply a mood we must endure but a state of mind (certainly impacted by circumstances) that we need not be captive to. Its moral significance also needs to be underscored because there is something at stake: We can do something about what we find to be boring (boredom assessment) and how we contend with this mood state (boredom endurance).
In this book, I make a case that schools should graduate students who know how to engage boredom productively when it arises. Rather than simply avoiding boredom or helplessly blaming boredom on something or someone else, such students take responsibility for their boredom. They develop internal resources for contending with boredom; they are adept and diplomatic at challenging boring circumstances, and they are equipped at finding worthwhile activities and practices that alleviate boredom. Such students acquire a capacity to discern a creative middle way between boredom avoidance, on the one hand, and stultifying boredom endurance, on the other hand. This middle way, I will argue, is the practice of leisure.
In this chapter, I examine the dynamics of contemporary so-called leisure, which is largely how we attempt to ameliorate boredom. With contemporary leisure what appears to offer self-renewal and self-actualization actually advances a form of blissful self-obliteration that enables the despair that Kierkegaard alerts us to. I then turn to an alternative conception of leisure, which draws inspiration from classical sources. This tradition, which has evolved and developed in several cultural eras, traces a line from Aristotle to St. Benedict of Nursia to Thomas Aquinas up to more recent leisure visionaries, including Simone Weil and Josef Pieper. Rather than enhancing self-restoration, these writers contend, the vacancy and inaction of free time are prey to acedia – a spiritual and mental sloth. The classical leisure tradition takes direct aim at this tendency, cultivating practices of leisure which protect the self from falling into despair. The argument here is that contemporary leisure, as it is often understood and practiced, offers a temporary anesthetic that in the end intensifies existential boredom and despair. True leisure, by contrast, restores and renews the self, offering a powerful antidote to existential boredom and the despair that afflicts the self.
In this chapter, I first consider Alasdair MacIntyre’s neo-Aristotelian notion of “practices.” For MacIntyre, practices refer to special forms of human activity that harbor what he calls internal goods, goods to which practitioners progressively gain access as they acquire more experience. Part of what it means to enact a leisurely state of mind is to become attentive to the internal goods of our practical engagements. At the same time, the activities in which we can cultivate and enact leisure should not only be thought of as “practices,” in the MacIntyrean sense. Attending only to such practices would narrow the range of human engagement in which leisure can be experienced. More provocative is the philosopher Albert Borgmann’s notion of a focal practice, which resonates with MacIntyre’s account, but includes a broader range of activities that count as worthwhile practices. While Borgmann’s account of focal practices covers what MacIntyre has in mind, it also includes simple activities such as cooking, walking, and reading. Borgmann shows that even, and especially in such engagements, we can experience and further cultivate leisure. Drawing from both MacIntyre’s and Borgmann’s insights, I sketch out three tangible ways to cultivate leisure.
This exploratory descriptive study investigated barriers and enablers to the provision of leisure activities for people living in three Australian residential aged care facilities (RACFs) that operated under a household model of care. This research is unique in the international context, as few studies have explored the understandings and experiences of personal care attendants' (PCAs) perceptions of what impacts leisure provision for people living in RACFs. Qualitative data were collected from 17 PCAs via four focus groups. Barriers to leisure provision were identified as PCA–resident ratios, competing demands of the PCA role and a prioritisation of physical care tasks over leisure-related activities. The severity of residents' dementia (cognitive and functional deficits) as well as behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia were also framed as barriers to participation in and the provision of leisure. Participants identified enablers of leisure provision as related to perceptions of leisure, the experiential knowledge of staff, organisational support and resourcing. The study findings suggest that enhancing leisure provision for people living with dementia will require attention to system issues (i.e. staffing levels, ratios, PCA role demands) as well as PCA knowledge and capability to facilitate person-centred leisure.
Boredom is an enduring problem. In response, schools often do one or both of the following: first, they endorse what novelist Walker Percy describes as a 'boredom avoidance scheme,' adopting new initiative after new initiative in the hope that boredom can be outrun altogether, or second, they compel students to accept boring situations as an inevitable part of life. Both strategies avoid serious reflection on this universal and troubling state of mind. In this book, Gary argues that schools should educate students on how to engage with boredom productively. Rather than being conditioned to avoid or blame boredom on something or someone else, students need to be given tools for dealing with their boredom. These tools provide them with internal resources that equip them to find worthwhile activities and practices to transform boredom into a more productive state of mind. This book addresses the ways students might gain these skills.
Leisure opportunities, new money and changing loyalties to local and national institutions brought different attitudes to how books should be preserved, and for whom. Changes in social structure, changes in patterns of wealth, changes in education, and changes in the environment all contributed to a social revolution reflected in care of the printed inheritance.
Participation in leisure activities is significantly impacted following acquired brain injury (ABI). Despite this being a common community rehabilitation goal, re-engagement with leisure activities following ABI is poorly addressed within Australian community rehabilitation services, which often cater to a mixed-diagnostic group of both ABI and non-ABI clients.
To evaluate the feasibility and effect of a leisure reintegration group programme within a community rehabilitation service.
A single-site, pre- and post-test feasibility study was conducted. Three cohorts of a semi-structured leisure group programme were offered, each conducted over eight sessions within 4 weeks. The Nottingham Leisure Questionnaire (NLQ) and Leisure Satisfaction Measure (LSM) were used as primary outcome measures. Measures of acceptability, including adherence, and a post-intervention participant survey were also completed.
Of the 14 consenting participants, 9 completed all outcome measures. Mean change score for the NLQ was −3.63 (p = 0.11) and the LSM 4.25 (p = 0.46). The programme was well attended (79%), acceptable for ABI and non-ABI participants and able to be implemented within an existing community rehabilitation service.
Providing a leisure reintegration group programme met an identified need, developed client and carer capacity and could be delivered within a community rehabilitation service for clients with mixed diagnoses including ABI. A larger trial is warranted to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of this intervention for people with ABI.
Can physics be beneficial for bringing about human moral and spiritual goods? Modern physics is perpetually in search for grand unification of our world-pictures, but its method is arbitrarily self-limiting in ruling out any place in its conception of nature for the human as spiritual and moral beings. But this estrangement between nature and the human has not always been the case. Drawing from Pierre Hadot’s pioneering work, this essay retrieves the notion of physics as ‘spiritual exercise’ from ancient philosophy and early Christianity for reimagining the enterprise of physics today. Envisaged as spiritual exercise, ancient physics goes beyond a mere acquisition of ‘objective’ knowledge of nature towards the fashioning of human moral and spiritual transformation. Illustrating from Origen of Alexandria, I show that this vision of physics is principally grounded upon a metaphysics that unites all parts of nature, including human nature, into a single whole. This chapter argues that it is desirable to retrieve the ancient vision today not as a displacement of modern physics but through the re-invention of natural philosophy alongside it. This retrieval should give urgency to the task of rethinking the desirability of a comprehensive and unified metaphysical account of nature for today.
This chapter examines the curious new landscapes of affluence which were installed in Britain’s towns and cities in the post-war decades. It shows how new shopping spaces were consciously engineered by designers as entertaining spectacles and served as sites in which a new public culture of affluence and acquisition was propagated. I relate this to the powerful political and cultural critiques of new retail environments which have proliferated in literatures on the ‘postmodern’ consumer city. I also stress that, in the 1960s, many public planners felt themselves to be engaged in the production of a new and energising type of civic space in the redeveloped shopping landscape and saw this endeavour in light of contemporary ideas about entitlements to mass leisure. For the more high-minded public planners new retail developments were a means of revitalising public space and public culture through uniting the civic with the commercial realms, and thus reflected the wider mingling of the categories of citizen and consumer, of welfare statehood with affluence. In practice this attempt to harness commercial retail development with an invigorated urban public sphere was inherently unstable and could not be sustained over the longer term.
At first sight The Secret Agent is a novel where content and form seamlessly overlap, and where unorthodox narrative proportions echo its ideological paradoxes in anarchist aesthetics. But the structure is at odds with the theme – somewhat like an abstract painting within a classic, ornate frame. Rather than invoking fragmentation, the nonchronological chapters in The Secret Agent allow for unity and consistency: a way to display control. The novel is knitted in an overlapping pattern of interweaving sequences and temporal criss-crossings, where scattered and eclectic details add structure to disorganized characters, chapters and circumstances. The Secret Agent is not a sustained discussion of one topic, but a manifesto of marginality or manifest marginality: a novel written in the margins.