Strategies of Thought : Henri Lefebvre on Everyday Life

Strategies of Thought this week was Henri Lefebvre on Everyday Life. I found the reading for this lecture the most immediately accessible, and was particularly interested in the discussion of work/leisure. Recently I have begun to think about how the different aspects of my work and social life fit together, and the idea of leisure time acting as a compensation for time spent working, as well as the competitive nature of leisure, struck a chord with me.

The subject of work/leisure and the everyday is linked closely to craft, as crafting as a hobby blurs the line between work and leisure. In the past crafts such as embroidery were pursued by craftspeople as a commercial enterprise both in and outside the home, whereas in the UK and USA today many people embroider, knit and sew as a leisure activity. Lefebvre refers to a kind of skilled leisure activity as ‘cultivated or cultural leisure’, a phrase which I feel aptly describes crafting for fun. The reasons behind choosing to pursue one form of work as an escape from an other interest me, and I feel that the increased use of technology in day to day life is a major part of this, as well as what Lefebvre calls ‘fragmented labour’.

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