Leisure Recreation and the Arts

Leisure activities are structured according to class and gender. Boys have fewer chores than girls, and learn early on that public space is a domain for male leisure and recreation. In late afternoons after school, adolescent boys can be seen playing football or basketball in schoolyards, while girls play netball.

Men seek leisure outside the home—including sexual satisfaction. Men also engage in drinking, gambling, joke telling, boasting, and story telling. Working-class adolescent boys and men gather in groups known as "crews" or "loafing groups" on street corners and in rum bars, or play dominoes in shops. Upper-class men meet in yacht club bars and engage in bird shooting, sailing, and fishing tournaments. Upper-class "ladies" devote significant time to beautifying practices such as exercising, shopping for clothing and make-up, frequenting spas, and going to the beauty parlor. Middle-class women devote significant leisure time to voluntary social groups.

On weekends, young women socialize on the street as well, since this is the time when "sound systems" are brought out, "DJ" parties take place in town squares or city neighborhoods, and "jerk" stations are set up. Outdoor DJ parties draw large crowds, and usually begin late and last till early morning hours. Many communities also have dance halls, which are frequented predominantly by working-class men and women. Some also house bars and strip joints, which are patronized by men and a few women of low respectability. Many communities host weekend bingo tournaments, which draw large crowds of working- and middle-class men and women.

Marijuana or ganja smoking is an important leisure activity in the working class. Men enjoy smoking during breaks at their work sites, in groups away from work, or as a solitary experience in the mornings and late at night in their yards. Rastafarian men engage in "reasoning" sessions where they ritually smoke ganja, philosophize, and reinforce male bonds. Women's smoking is infrequent and generally prior to sexual activity.

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