The distinction between the two has evolved greatly over time such that work and leisure are completely distinguishable in the contemporary western society. Amongst the Greeks, activities such as farming that we now consider as work was considered as some sort of religious activities that was a sacred undertaking1.In the medieval period, there was great separation in the roles played by men from those played by females. However, there was no clear distinction between work and leisure. Activities such as dancing, storytelling, singing that were taught to the girls were not defined as leisure but were a way of life. During this period, the boys engaged in hunting activities. They were also taught other aspects such as war2. Activities such as herbal treatment carried out by Native Americans were done by specific persons but were viewed more as religious roles. However, the romans engaged in some sort of leisure since they built recreation facilities such as stadiums and amphitheater. Though most activities done in this period can be categorized as recreational ones in the contemporary society, they were more of gender roles to the people in the medieval period. The late mediaeval period, which is also referred to as Middle Ages involved overemphasis on work. The recreation facilities that had been constructed by the Romans were destroyed in the late middle ages. This was due to increased spread of Christianity that opposed activities such as attending theatres. Additionally, the distinction between work and leisure was still lacking in some societies. The church was against some forms of entertainment and the religious leaders argued that leisure, which was equated to idleness, was evil and exposed people to sins. However, people engaged in pastimes such as storytelling, which can be considered to have been their form of leisure3.In the renaissance period (1350-1600), the amount of time set for recreation purposes or for leisure differed considerably from today understanding of leisure. The time spent for leisure purposes was also minimal. Additionally, the recreation activities were different. In this period, recreation activities differed across different social class with the upper class being able to enjoy considerable amount of time engaging in leisure activities while those in the lower classes had minimal or no time for recreation. Some leisure activities that characterized the renaissance period include literature,
Haworth, John. Work and Leisure. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Human Kinetics. Dimensions of Leisure for Life: Individuals and Society. New York: Human Kinetics, 2010.
Stebbins , Robert. Between Work & Leisure: The Common Ground of Two Separate Worlds. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2004.
Stefan, Poser. Leisure Time and Technology, in: European History Online (EGO). Sep 26, 2011. http://www.ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/crossroads/technified-environments/stefan-poser-leisure-time-and-technology (accessed Sep 29, 2012).
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