The Theory of the Leisure Class Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Where does the institution of a leisure class appear in the development of culture?

The institution of a leisure class is found in its best development at the higher stages of the barbarian culture.

2. What distinguishes the leisure class from the other classes?

The leisure class is exempt from manual labor. In some cases, upper classes were actually barred from manual labor. The laboring classes did the work, but the leisure classes enjoyed the prestige associated with their labor.

3. How has the leisure class evolved from the times of hunting cultures?

The leisure class did not exist in hunting cultures. Functions were differentiated between tribe members, but all classes worked. With the specialization of labor, there started to be a distinction between industrial and nonindustrial classes.

4. How did primitive societies divide the labor?

Men's work was primarily geared toward hunting and food production. Women's work involved the drudgery of cooking, child-rearing, and menial jobs that were required to support the culture. In primitive communities, what is now considered industrial labor was relegated to women.

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