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At your leisure – sojourning for a time

Members of the special research area „Otium/Leisure“ are publishing an anthology on the topic of „Leisure and Society“

Freiburg, Jul 05, 2017

The role of time and efficiency in contemporary society, the relationship between work and leisure, the representation of leisure by poets such as Goethe, Schiller or Tolstoy, the humanities and their leisure: a new anthology addresses these and other topics under the title „Leisure and Society“ tracing back to a conference organized by the special research area (SFB) „Leisure“ held in October 2015. A total of 17 contributions coming from ten disciplines are included – philosophy, sociology, social anthropology, psychosomatic medicine, Japanese studies, German medieval studies, Slavic studies, English studies and the history of contemporary Germany Literature. Gregor Dobler, professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Peter Philipp Riedl, professor in the German Department at the University of Freiburg are the editors. Both are board members in the SFB 1015 „Otium/Leisure. Borders, Temporal and Spatial Character, Practices“ that began its second funding round at the beginning of 2017.

The contributions are based on the understanding of leisure as sojourning for a time – beyond instrumental rationality and utilitarian thinking. It points toward freedom from time pressure and direct expectations of achievement, and toward aesthetically and spatially staged lifestyles of freedom that aren’t subjected to the tyranny of time. On the one hand, leisure appears to be an individual experience and attitude that removes people from social pressures. On the other, it is also a social phenomenon: as the contributions demonstrate, the opportunities to create room for leisure are not evenly distributed and the space for leisure often becomes a publicly defended characteristic of a specific societal role. The anthology illuminates leisure’s societal dimension in various historic and cultural contexts and explains what measure of symbolic capital is ascribed to the respective principles of leisure.

Original publication
Dobler, Gregor/Riedl, Peter Philipp (Hg.) (2017): Muße und Gesellschaft. (Leisure and Society) Tübingen. (= Otium. Studien zur Theorie und Kulturgeschichte der Muße 5 – Studies on the Theory and Cultural History of Leisure 5).

Website for the special research area 1015 „ Otium/Leisure. Borders, Temporal and Spatial Character, Practices “

Prof. Dr. Gregor Dobler
Department of Social and Cultural Anthroplogy
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-3582

Prof. Dr. Peter Philipp Riedl
German Department
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-3294