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Leisure and participation in Britain

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This article presents an in-depth description of patterns of consumption of out-of-the-home leisure activities. The focus is on participation in different sorts of leisure activities. It is assumed that leisure has to be related to some sort of activity, and is not equivalent to free time. Bourdieu's ideas about social class as the main factor structuring cultural practices are engaged with. In order to do this, the Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion (CCSE) survey data are analysed, following three steps. First, frequency of participation in different leisure activities is described and these results are compared with those produced by the Arts Council of England's 2001 attendance, participation and attitudes survey. Second, the relationship among the different leisure items is studied using a three-factor solution, as a result of a principal component analysis. Third, regressions are run on the factor scores in order to provide an explanation of the identified dimensions. Attention is paid to occupational class, gender, ethnic origin, education, and age as explanatory variables. The results show that all of these have some effects, though to a different extent and for different factors, the most important being level of education, age and gender.
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Keywords: Bourdieu; Cultural capital; Culture; Leisure; Participation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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