Essay: Working and Leisure

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Sociology: Work and Leisure

Work and Leisure

The Importance of Being Lazy

The Importance of Being Lazy

Purpose of Book

Al Gini's is the author of "The Importance of Being Lazy." The purpose of the book is to explain the concept of 'working' and not the work. He criticizes the overworking habits that are destructive to both the health as well as the family life of people in America. The auther is telling how various activities including sports can wear out a person's health if not balanced. The author stresses that the extra activities like the sports and rest suggest that Americans are not basically overworking rather taking lesser rest than required (Richard, 2008). The Americans, he suggests take fewer vacations comparatively than other nations. Gini wants Americans to know why it is important to take rest too and to enjoy leisure to boost productivity and quality of family life.

Purpose Achievement

The book has somehow failed to achieve the purpose. The writer has fallen prey to his own twisted style of narrating the problems of overworking. He is unable to suggest how the leisure can be slowly incorporated to the current lifestyle without drastically halting the working pattern. Besides that, there are no guidelines in the book that suggest what balance between work and leisure is and how it can be achieved (Richard, 2008). The book has failed to deal with personality-difference factor that suggests that for every individual, different amount of work or leisure is suitable. The book therefore is successful in presenting the idea that there should be a balance between wok and leisure yet it is unsuccessful in telling how that can be achieved and how to determine if a person is working more or less (Gini, 2006).

Main Ideas

Gini finds ways to give examples that confirm that Americans over-do things. He discusses the social attitudes of the nation as a whole (Richard, 2008). He deliberates the idea of "The Overspent America" that the advertisements are appealing Americans to shop more that is certainly a tiring activity too. The examples that are opposite to concept of leisure include sports and travel as the writer suggests. The focus of the book is that American people shouldn't be working too much and that over-doing costs health and mental peace. The body as well as the mind is in need of resting. The body can be at rest away from work and also the mind relaxes by family mixing and social mixing. If a person wants to live a healthy personal, family as well as social life, he needs to develop balance between work and time spent on leisure. While doing so, the author says that the leisure activities should not be as much or more tiring than the work itself. Americans work more than all other people hence they are also in need of quality leisure time more than anyone else.

Contribution to work and occupation

A unique idea floated by Gini is not to overlook the advantages of leisure and play. Unlike the leading majority of scholars that are working to find ways that help improving productivity of employees, Gini chose to write on why not to work more (Zuylen, 2008). He stresses on the idea that working more is not productive since people work more to earn more and earn more to spend more and consume more (Gini, 2006). He says that his is neither healthy nor productive. Therefore, he emphasizes on the idea of getting time off work in order to rest and be out of tight schedules too.

The author of the book claims that in America, a person is defined by his career hence people over-do in order to have a well-defined self. He suggests that one reason of that much working is consumerism (Richard, 2008). Since there is inflation yet people want to consume more, a demand driven by TV advertisements, people hence work extra shifts so that they are able to consume more. The author suggests that the American's even spend busy holidays with tiring activities like sports and travel. The routine of an ordinary American working person needs to be revised in his opinion because this over-working routine may help today but is actually creating problems for the future work life.

Improvements

The author could have focused on how making the holidays less tiring by designing entertainment activities that is less hectic. Also the author has not mentioned whether the design of work can be altered to offer leisure or does it necessarily need that the working time is reduced. The work stresses people during work days as well as the holidays. The author could have however suggested the difference between resting on week days and working on holidays. Which is more helpful and which is more destructive. The author did not offer an understanding of nature of work and its impact on mind and body of worker. A person can only understand what to correct after knowing what actually went wrong.

Besides the nature of work, every person has a different caliber. For some, work is a source of energy since it entails appreciation and appreciation. For tem, appreciation is more relaxing than leisure. This personality factor towards work-leisure is not sufficiently dealt in the book and could have been included.

Without knowing the solution, it is hard to select a direction of action. Hence the author could have suggested an action plan that could reduce the confusion as what to do then if not to work more.

Challenging Ideas

The context of the book is made hard to absorb by the sermon style of the author. The 'anti-work' research is hard to find, support as well as implement (O'Brien, 2009). The author is certainly not suggesting not to work but also he has failed to recognize that everybody has his own standard of how much to do and how much leisure time to have. He talks more on not to work enough but fails to suggest how to play more (Zuylen, 2008). Therefore it is challenging to understand why is he only focusing on what to minimize and why not telling how to maximize the other variable i.e. leisure.

The reader while reading the book at times he feels that he might kill himself by over-doing. The author has painted a somewhat horrible picture of working and the workaholic behavior. He forgets the famous notion that people believe that 'idleness kills not the work' (Gini, 2006). The reader is tempted to quit the tight schedules and work less while resting more. It is challenging to believe and agree because psychology suggests that leisure can lead to negative thoughts developing depression (O'Brien, 2009). Therefore the stress on balance between work and leisure is not rightly presented in the book that confuses the reader as if to work more or rest more.

Data consistency

The data consistency is somehow imbalanced in the book. The author presents data in various areas that are connected yet conflicting:

Lack of Self Development suggests that we insert more efforts on present tasks than the growth required to do well in future. He suggests that a dull person is only entertained and not very productive. This point is inconsistent with the overall concept of the book.

Lack of Autonomy says that when we are doing a single task, this gives us a complete understanding of the task. Yet the problem is that this makes us passive and disconnected for other life activities.

The author suggests that indulging only in work offers less time for mixing with people. Therefore when an over-working person interacts with people, his interaction is superficial. Hence, it is a complex idea to understand and grasp that a working person's leisure isn't true leisure. But he leads a pre-occupied social life… [END OF PREVIEW]

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