The era of mass leisure
The pleasure-seeking citizen
in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
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This chapter investigates a common assumption, which cuts across the political spectrum, that the rise of mass commercial leisure coincided with a decline of 'good' citizenry. It assesses the role of music hall and public house within male working-class culture, as these key institutions provide a useful test to the hegemonic qualities of mass commercial leisure. The chapter explores how reactions to intemperance in the music hall and public house stimulated both cross-class collaborative and class-specific movements which placed temperance at the heart of their own particular narrative of citizenship. It also explores the attempts by both class-collaborative and class-specific movements to forge narratives of 'good' citizenship by attacking mass commercial leisure and adopting the temperance cause. The chapter presents a football match, one of the most potent forms of mass commercial leisure which provides a case study challenging the notion that mass commercial leisure displaced an authentic working-class culture.


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