Introduction: Leisure without society?
The main proposition of this book is that the sociology of leisure has, to date, been marooned on a narrow reef of theoretical interests. Our thoughts seem to career between two extremes. On one side they pursue the grand ambition of formulating a general theory of leisure. On the other, they are dispersed in numerous microscopic and somewhat inconclusive inquiries into leisure and its 'associated variables'.1 In both cases forms of theory have grown up which may be described as 'self-referential'. Their object of inquiry is the history and nature of contemporary leisure relations. Their aim is to describe leisure in all of its various forms, and to ascertain its definitive characteristics. Leisure patterns are delineated, and variables like sex, age, race, occupation, status, and class are linked to them.