chapter  2
15 Pages

Leisure education: definitions, aims, advocacy and practices – are we talking about the same thing(s)?

ByAtara Sivan, Robert A. Stebbins

Though seemingly concerned only with food and agriculture, Slow Food ought to also be understood as a movement that addresses crises in societies' use of leisure. Specifically, mealtime is examined as a site of conflict between gastronomic cultural traditions and the efficiency, standardisation, and profit-imperative of the global food infrastructure. Drawing on recent reconstructions of school, this chapter examines Slow Food as an organisation that promotes a critical and reflective leisure practice in the form of eating. Slow Food arose from the convergence of several other organisations and movements, including the communist student movement in Italy, the Associazone Ricreativa Culturale Italiana (ARCI), and a critical mass of journalists in the 1980s who viewed themselves as gastronomic reformers. Specifically, it seeks to recreate gastronomic culture by facilitating meal experiences that are convivial, mindful, and ethical. Understood in this way, Slow Food's mission and methodology have important implications for reconstructing the concept of leisure education in contemporary society.