The power relations of leisure and media reception: The act of reading the romance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


All members of a household are likely to see the home as a base for some leisure, but in order to make this possible it is often necessary for women to forfeit their leisure. The continued presence of household duties and obligations means that it is difficult for women to set aside time for leisure at times when others are relaxing which they can be sure will be uninterrupted. It is rare for women who live with others to have a space of their own for leisure, whereas men and frequently children too if they do not simply leave the house, often have special places to go even in cramped housing conditions - a room, a corner of the garden, a shed - where they are likely to remain undisturbed. Home-based leisure too, does not just involve those people who live in a particular household, but often involves other people, friends, acquaintances, relatives, coming into the house. Women may have little or no control over who their male partners bring to the house and indeed may have to sacrifice yet more time catering (often literally) for the needs of such visitors. Consequently women’s home-based leisure and enjoyment is often based on or derives from, the same activities and tasks which form part of their work in the household, or is fitted into those tasks and activities sometimes simultaneously. Whilst men’s leisure may also derive from work, it is usually from their paid rather than unpaid work and they are from the available evidence, much less likely to combine work and leisure activities simultaneously (how many men iron whilst watching TV or try to read a book whilst cooking the evening meal?). When the home is also a work place it is much more difficult to switch off from things which have to be done, to things which are chosen in their own right - you cannot easily shut up the kitchen or the undusted bedrooms or pretend that bored or hungry children are not there.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Domestic Consumption
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Readings
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781317903659
ISBN (Print)9780134333434
StatePublished - Jun 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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