Leisure, Lifestyle, and the New Middle Class

by Koen van Eijck, Hans Mommaas
Leisure Sciences ()
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Abstract

This article assesses differentiation in leisure patterns within the upper middle class based on job sector (i.e., civil servant, private sector employee, or self-employed). Combining three Dutch data sets covering the 1990–2000 period (n = 3415), significant job sector differences were found for 47 of the 98 leisure items studied. The results demonstrate that leisure participation is not structured by a single, externally legitimated hierarchy ranging from highbrow to lowbrow culture, but rather by more ambiguous patterns of leisure participation based on a narrative of personal enrichment and the self. Differences between the leisure patterns of people working in different sectors remained mostly stable during the 1990s.

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