Économie et Statistique n° 352-353 - 2002Social and professional time through time-use surveys
Social time and participation in an association
Compared with the total population of over-15s, members of associations are more qualified, more well off and more frequently men. Living in a rural area or small town and living in the west and east of France are factors that encourage membership. Sports and cultural associations are by far the most common. For employees, working in the public sector lends itself to taking part in an activity in an association. Other favourable situations are being in control of one's own schedule and working flexitime as opposed to having a hard and tiring job. Frequenting associations is higher among employees who choose part-time work and full-time employees who work less than 35 hours per week. However, this rate drops among those who work much longer hours. As regards the home environment, it is the age of the children rather than their number that is important: having a very young child is an obstacle to participation. Nevertheless, participation is encouraged when third parties provide assistance with certain tasks. The propensity to frequent associations seems to be closely linked with practising other highly sociable activities, such as providing informal services and entertaining at home. Between spouses, a ratchet effect is found as regards membership. Likewise, having participating parents greatly encourages the children living at home to participate.