Little leisure in the big society

Liz Such

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Big Society is a government and governance project that brings into question the existing relationship between the state and the citizen in the UK. One aspect of that changing relationship is the way in which government is willing and able to govern the population’s discretionary or leisure time. The success of the Big Society is dependent on a reorientation of leisure time use towards civic or voluntary action. In this policy analysis, the Big Society concept is deconstructed to examine the importance of leisure as a key determinant in meeting policy objectives. Time-use evidence is reviewed to explore the difficult question of how much scope there is for a reorientation of time-use that will go some way to realising the ambitions of the Big Society. The invisibility of leisure as an operationalised policy concept is revealed as a factor that ultimately 15 limits the success of the project. An argument for including leisure in the Big Society policy discourse and decision-making is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-107
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Big Society
  • leisure
  • social policy
  • free time
  • time-use
  • civic action


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