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Time, work and leisureLife changes in England since 1700$
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Hugh Cunningham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085208

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085208.001.0001

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Men, work and leisure, 1850–1970

Men, work and leisure, 1850–1970

(p.124) 6 Men, work and leisure, 1850–1970
Time, work and leisure

Hugh Cunningham

Manchester University Press

This chapter is concerned with male identity. It opens by looking at the gospel of work, as preached by Thomas Carlyle and many others. It contrasts this vision of the benefits of work by exploring the reality of work in the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Shorter hours of work were achieved at the cost of intensification of work, the spread of piece work, de-skilling and a high rate of accidents. On the other hand, work gave many men a sense of self-worth. Leisure, primarily commercial in provision, was seen by many commentators as a problem, Yet it also, in sport, spectatorship, competitions, in the pub, gave men an identity. The conclusion is that many working-class men by 1970 had achieved a work-leisure balance.

Keywords:   male identity, gospel of work, working hours, men, work, leisure, sport, pubs

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