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ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Malysheva Svetlana

Malysheva Svetlana

Professor, Department of Russian History, Institute of International Relations,
Kazan Federal University (KFU), 18 Kremlevskaya str., 420008 Kazan, Russia.


The Rehabilitation of Idleness: The Production of New Values and Meanings for Leisure in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries / Logos. 2019. № 1 (128). P. 147-158
annotation:  The author scrutinizes the changing meaning of the concepts that shaped leisure and spare time during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. She emphasizes that this period of accelerating industrial development brought about a firm distinction between work and recreation, an increase in free time, and an expansion of leisure. Urban leisure became a separate kind of activity associated with consumerism. The commercialization of leisure, the weakening of social control over it, and the design of the entertainment industry have resulted in a qualitative change in leisure and have contributed to its individualization, to erasure of social and class differences in leisure, and to a rapid top-down transmission of forms of leisure and recreational behavior patterns from the upper to the lower classes. Changes in the social and cultural function of leisure and the transformation of ideas about leisure were reflected in gradual changes in the meaning of concepts associated with recreation in the explanatory dictionaries compiled by Vladimir Dahl (in the 1860s and later editions), the Academy of Sciences (1890s), and Dmitry Ushakov (prepared in the early years of Soviet dominance and published in the 1930s) as well as in works of fiction from the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Transformation in the meanings of such terms as “leisure,” “idle,” “inactivity” and their derivatives provides evidence for the gradual elimination of the opposition between work and recreation, for the individualization of leisure, for its passage beyond the indivisible collective process of alternation between work and recreation, and for a significant modification in the negative connotations of the concepts “idleness” and “inaction.”
Keywords:  leisure; idleness; inaction; relaxation; entertainment industry
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