Role of Technology in Leisure Activities Across Three Generations – an Exploratory Study

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Dachgeschoss (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Garima GUPTA, IIIT Delhi, India
The concept of leisure as a distinct activity gained prominence in the West with the onset of industrial mode of production in the late 19th and early 20th century. Due to Western influence through colonial rule, economic changes, urbanization, technology development and information technology revolution, the western concept of leisure is fast becoming an important social institution in more urbanized regions of India. How has this change taken place over the last three generations? The present exploratory study is based on comparison of the leisure activities across three generations. A historical-theoretical approach is used to analyse the leisure practices and their relation with the social change, with a focus on use of technology. A survey method was used to collect required information from young students of two premier engineering colleges in the age group 17 to 25 along with the leisure activities of their respective parents and grandparents when they were in the age group 17 to 25. The observations indicate that there has been a major shift in the identification and nature of leisure patterns among last three generations. Concept of leisure as a separate activity was not recognised by most of the grandparents and found the question itself irrelevant. Watching television, movies, reading books and some outdoor activities were very common forms of entertainment for parents. Finally, increasing engagement with mobile and computer technology, blurring of leisure and work among present generation are some of the important findings. The pattern of leisure activities are explained with reference to the corresponding socio-historical and economic conditions of pre-partition British colonial period, post independence times and the recent information and communication technology revolution.