Leisure, lifestyle, and the new middle class

Koen van Eijck*, Hans Mommaas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This article assesses differentiation in leisure patterns within the upper middle class based on job sector (i.e., civil servant, private sector employee, or self-employed). Combining three Dutch data sets covering the 1990-2000 period (n = 3415), significant job sector differences were found for 47 of the 98 leisure items studied. The results demonstrate that leisure participation is not structured by a single, externally legitimated hierarchy ranging from highbrow to lowbrow culture, but rather by more ambiguous patterns of leisure participation based on a narrative of personal enrichment and the self. Differences between the leisure patterns of people working in different sectors remained mostly stable during the 1990s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-392
Number of pages20
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes

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