Économie et Statistique n° 352-353 - 2002Social and professional time through time-use surveys
Workers' Leisure Time: a Reflection of Social Stratification
Workers' leisure time is organised on two levels. On a daily basis, it is governed mainly by professional working time constraints and domestic tasks and appears essentially as residual time. Yet many leisure activities, whose frequency depends chiefly on the individual's social, cultural and financial resources, need to be planned and call for larger windows of free time than those offered by the schedule on ordinary work days. These two time scales, the daily and the extended, are partially linked by a principle of compensation. The groups with little daily free time (especially executives) are those with the highest propensity for extended leisure time especially cultural leisure. The groups with a great deal of daily free time (mainly manual employees) are those for whom this propensity is the lowest. In the main, the individual's financial and cultural resources form the chief explanatory factor for the predisposition to extended leisure time, regardless of its content, and the capacity to use rationed leisure time itself seems to be highly dependent on these same factors.