Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Free time
(2,156 words)

1. Concept

1.1. Historical background

The term free time (like Italian tempo libero, Spanish tiempo libre, and German Freizeit; cf. American spare time) is defined etymologically as the opposite of “occupied time” or working hours. The “freedom” of time has positive connotations; it suggests voluntary, pleasant occupations and a historical process of liberation from social obligations and travail. This is ultimately a negative definition, since free time is determined primarily by what it does not entail.

This di…

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Arcangeli, Alessandro, “Free time”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019451>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126



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