Whiteness and Everyday Leisure

  • Karl Spracklen
Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)


It’s Monday morning and I am in the shop at my local railway station. It’s 7.30 in the morning but for some reason there are no Guardian newspapers left to buy. I ask for my usual small latte and ask the bloke behind the counter what’s happened to The Guardian. Just sold out of them today, ‘ he shrugs. They never have many at the shop. It’s a small town, the end or the railway line, and there are never that many liberal intelligentsia on the 7.47 out to Leeds — so the shop only has three or four copies of the paper. I ask him if he could put a copy of the paper under the counter for me in future. He agrees but says ‘you do realize the papers are full of rubbish, don’t you?’ I know that! I know even The Guardian, paper of the bourgeois liberal elite, is awfully white and awfully partial, and I despair of its lack of detail on world news, and its obsession with a narrow, metropolitan middle-class Southern elite culture. But I need my daily paper because I’m a crossword addict. Not the quick crossword, the cryptic one. If I don’t get to have a go at the cryptic crossword on the way to work I feel I’m missing something, and I get fractious. I do the crossword because it exercises my brain, and I love the beauty of the solutions (know-all rascal met with disaster [5,4]). But I am aware of two things when I do these crosswords: firstly, I am doing the crossword because I am a professional commuter working in a professional job, and maybe I am just replicating the accepted behaviour of the middle-class white English professional on the way to work; and secondly, to solve the clues it is necessary to have a general knowledge of very specific things in white, Western (English) elite culture — the paper’s cryptic crossword of 10 August 2012, for example, depended on an extensive knowledge of TS Eliot.


Popular Culture Shopping Mall White People Transnational Corporation Late Modernity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Karl Spracklen 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Spracklen
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds Metropolitan UniversityUK

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