Balance is everything: bicycle messengers, work and leisure

Fincham, Ben (2008) Balance is everything: bicycle messengers, work and leisure. Sociology, 42 (4). pp. 618-634. ISSN 0038-0385

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The conceptual separation of 'work' and 'life', as distinct elements of social activity, has become established as shorthand for the social and psychological dislocation felt by being at work and not being at work.There is a literature on the work/life balance driven by governmental rhetoric, based on the idea of flexible working. This article suggests that distinctions between 'work' and 'life', implying a dichotomy in adult life, are overstated. Using material from a study of bicycle messengers this article presents a rich account of a group of workers for whom the binary distinction between work and life is meaningless. The account of this world of work is more closely aligned with those of the jazz musicians described by Becker or the boxers of Weinberg and Arond, where the occupation, identity and culture are not confined to hours of work.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Ben Fincham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:47
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2012 09:25
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