chapter  2
27 Pages

Leisure and social intervention

Although in most other respects Marx and Durkheim were signally opposed social theorists, they shared a belief in the conscious regulation of society. Both writers argue that rational planned intervention into social life could improve collective conditions. Marx held fast to this position throughout his intel­ lectual career. Durkheim, for his part, grew more sceptical in his later years. Even so, as regards leisure theory, it is useful to compare and contrast their views in terms of the question of intervention. Marx and Durkheim were both complex writers. In order to discuss their respective views of intervention and leisure meaningfully, it will be necessary to outline the background assumptions and logic of their general social theories.