Lifestyle The more you know

Leisure? is extinct

Free time does not exist. Frantically filled with activity, the hours of non-work run away leaving a perennial sense of regret, inadequacy, anxiety. In the pursuit of commitments, free time is less and less, sometimes it is occupied by a second job or it is engulfed by a desire for activism, perhaps to combat stress, so that no one has time for himself, the same definition of free time has now become difficult, there is such a “feeling of saturation of one’s own time” that sociologists are forced to send their essays to the attic, they surrender and must admit that we are faced with “a substantial dissolution of the very concept of free time”. To perform the praise of idleness, to reassess the lost-time and to remember the nobility of the contemplative life, is the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences Treccani that in the last volume, available from the beginning of the 99, rewrites the definition of Time Free reassuring all those who think they are spending badly hours that do not pass to work and for this reason they are overwhelmed by anxiety or even guilt. The dissatisfied are not alone – if they can console – the great fear of “lost time” is a historical problem. “Today there is no perception of having a free time”, explains Carmen Belloni, sociologist, university professor in Turin, who in Treccani explains in a very learned and convincing way the widespread feeling that unites managers and housewives, fathers and children. “There is this perception because now the different time is reduced to a run-up to various activities to exorcise the” empty time “perceived as absence, as a time devoid of meanings, as a loss of identity”. Fun, sports – says the sociologist – are increasingly perceived as a race for status, as commitments to chase and often achieve at all costs. The Treccani recalls rarefied past epochs when for Cicero the idleness was a privilege and a duty and for Aristotle a necessity, it describes the evolution in the centuries of the free time become a sort of punishment in the modernity. However, there are all Italian features. In Italy television viewing is the most widespread pastime: 97 percent of the population entertains with TV, and about a third do so for over three hours a day. According to Istat data, reported in Treccani, cinema remains the entertainment that involves the majority of the population: 42 percent. While little is read, and readers are mainly women, there is little classical music and not even much sport. More than half of the population over 27 years does not carry out any sporting activity. Italian leisure time for the sociologist contains “elements of backwardness” also due to the crisis of “optimism and enthusiasm for the possibilities opened up by technology (from video games to the Internet) that seemed to be able to greatly expand the sphere of free time”. However, in this very un-relaxing scenario, the most disadvantaged are women who complain of a continuous shortage of time, it is from them, however, that the redemption can start: “Women claim a” time for themselves “claim, an attribution of meaning to the free time that is spreading also in other social strata “. A return to the need of time not destined for specific things “which is becoming a very felt social need”.

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2 Comments

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    Hyacinth Devone
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    • Reply
      Anfalidrissi
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