Radical Leisure

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  • Title: Radical Leisure: How Mothers Gain Well-Being and Control through Participation in Exercise Classes
  • Author(s): Janet Currie
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Health, Wellness & Society
  • Keywords: Well-being, Women’s Health, Exercise Classes, Mothers, Mental Health, Leisure, Stress, Body Image, Health, Wellness, Exercise, Stress Management, Health Promotion, Foucault, Ideology of Motherhood, Benefits of Exercise, Benefits of Exercise Classes, Benefits of Group Exercise, Benefits of Group Exercise Classes, Aerobics
  • Year: 2018
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-1-86335-015-0
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-016-7
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-021-1
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/978-1-86335-021-1/CGP
  • Citation: Currie, Janet Lynne. 2018. Radical Leisure: How Mothers Gain Well-Being and Control through Participation in Exercise Classes. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-021-1/CGP.
  • Extent: 112 pages


‘Normal’ or ‘good’ mothers adhere as closely as possible to the ideology of motherhood. This involves a normative standard of a socially constructed role of someone who devotes her personal time, energy and resources to attending to the needs and welfare of her children and family. It is therefore not surprising that lack of leisure time, time to self and poor mental health are health issues commonly experienced by working mothers. Using Foucault’s poststructuralist notions of the concepts of power, discourse and resistance, this book suggests that exercise classes taken at a mother’s leisure offer her an outlet to challenge some aspects of her subordination. Based on research conducted by Dr. Janet L. Currie, Radical Leisure documents the rich accounts provided by mothers who, by participating in exercise classes, resist to find space, de–stress and take greater control over their own lifestyle.