Re: The decline of leisure in america - technology, work, etc.

Jay (
22 Aug 1995 03:21:43 GMT (Xochi Zen) writes:

> I'm looking for references of books that are critical of technology -
>books that ask the question (and others like it), "Are we happier now than
>we were, say, in the late 1800's/early 1900's?" - say, have the "labor
>saving" devices that came into vogue in the 1950's actually given housewives
>_more_ work to do (in that housewives were brainwashed into conforming with
>some new, neurotic standard of cleanliness).

The opposite thesis is persued and well footnoted in Toffler's third wave.

> The only book I know of which discusses these matters is Neil
>Postman's _Technopoly_, and I have grave disagreements w/some of Postman's
>conclusions and inferences. Nevertheless, it's an easy read and is well
>worth looking into and reflecting upon.

> [ correction: just discovered a book entitled, "The Overworked
>American: the decline of leisure in america" by J. Schor - a Harvard
>economist ]

> Also looking for books that deal with the question, "Why have
>Americans bent over and accepted salary-exempt jobs with little to no
>leisure time?" It seems that the puritan work ethic has gone beserk - so
>much so that our families are falling apart because we no longer have time
>to spend with them. It's ironic that Republicans tout family values while
>at the same time they rail against maternity leave, etc. etc.

> Taking work home with one is now a socially accepted thing to do -
>even to the point of having to do so every night and on weekends. Where are
>our priorities? Then again, part of the problem may be that we're so damn
>greedy - we need bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger TVs (kill your television
>and read more often) and other luxury items. But do we really _need_ these
>things? Is it worth it to have damn near no real leisure time?

> I think the europeans in general have it right: at least in france
>and germany, I think citizens of these countries get a mandatory 4-5 weeks
>off per year right from the start.

> Well, I'm not quite looking for discussion here... mostly looking
>for book recommendations. The Internet itself can be like brain-rotting TV
>at times... in that it might get in the way of reading books. Gotta split.

> Pyrrhonically yrs,

> Xochi

>P.S. Please reply via private e-mail, or at least cc: me a copy if
> you respond publically. Thanks!

>| Xochi Zen "William James used to preach the 'will to believe.' For |
>| my part, I should wish to preach the 'will to doubt.' ... |
>| What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to|
>| find out, which is the exact opposite" - Bertrand Russell |

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