Économie et Statistique n° 352-353 - 2002Social and professional time through time-use surveys
How time is put to use: accumulating activities and lifestyles
The accumulation of activities is fostered by a high level of cultural resources and living in large towns. The most fortunate men and women from this point of view hence accumulate professional, sporting, cultural and association activities by reducing the time they spend on «passive» activities (sleeping and watching television). Conversely, the least culturally fortunate, those out of the labour force and those living in the countryside, have less varied activities. They tend, in particular, to spend more time on activities at home (sleeping, watching television, DIY for the men, and domestic production and household tasks for the women) and reduce the number and length of outside activities (cultural outings, sport, visits to friends, etc.). These differences between outward-looking individuals who accumulate activities and those who have fewer activities and focus on the home can be found in couples. A dual effect of homogamy of lifestyles and conjugal socialisation differentiates the «hard working» couples from those who invest more time in leisure, whether at home (especially television) or outside the home. However, the gender-based division of professional and domestic labour and home and external activities persists. Within the couples, men and women are similar in their use of time with the exception of the area of domestic work. In this area, asymmetry between the man and the woman remains the rule even though it is less significant among those couples, now the majority, where both spouses work.