While abundant research has investigated time use, much less attention has been given to the cultural meanings attached to free time and what these may express with regard to conceptions of freedom and the self. In an attempt to fill this gap, Michelle Shir-Wise examines not only what people do in their free time, but also how they perceive, interpret and experience it, and in what way it relates to notions of happiness, freedom and the ideal self. Time, Freedom and the Self draws on contemporary theoretical debates concerning the relation between discourse, cultural repertoires, subjective meaning and agency, as well as literature around the sociology of leisure, to inform a unique interpretation of free time (“disciplined freedom”), developed in the light of questionnaires and in-depth interviews with middle-class, middle-aged participants in suburban Israel.
About the Author
Michelle Shir-Wise (PhD, Bar-Ilan University, Israel) is an independent researcher exploring time use, the self, popular culture, freedom, class, gender, youth and ageism, particularly as they relate to middle-class suburban culture in Israel.
Table of Contents
2. Free Time, Culture and the Self
3. What is Topaz?
4. Conceptual Mapping: What is free time?
5. Free Time in Practice
6. The Productive Self
7. The Consuming Self
8. The Social Self
9. The Meaningful Self
10. Contradictory Free Time, Culture and Freedom.
What People are Saying About This
“The anthropology and sociology of time is a fast-growing subfield in its own right, asking fascinating questions about the meaning and use of time by different groups and cultures. Following in the tradition of qualitative sociology, Time, Freedom and the Self inquires about the notions of ‘freedom’ and ‘leisure’ as they are practiced by upper-middle class suburbanites. It is an important and original study showing that free time is far from free or empty. After reading this book, you will no longer think that free time is the result of the whims and creativity of actors; you will rather view it as a social time full ofand acted upon bypowerful sources.” (Eva Illouz, Directrice d’études, EHESS PARIS, France, and Professor of Sociology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)