Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time

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Penn State Press, 2010 - Social Science - 392 pages
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Is it possible that Americans have more free time than they did thirty years ago? While few may believe it, research based on careful records of how we actually spend our time shows that we average more than an hour more free time per day than in the 1960s. Time-use experts John P. Robinson and Geoffrey Godbey received national attention when their controversial findings were first published in 1997. Now the book is updated, with a new chapter that includes results of the 1995&–1997 data from the Americans' Use of Time Project.

&“Time for Life, an outstanding work of scholarship that manages to be highly readable, demands the attention of everyone interested in what&’s happening in today&’s society.&” &—Edward Cornish, The Futurist

&“Time for Life . . . is excellent fodder for lively classroom discussions, not only about family time use, but about the ontological and epistemological assumptions in the prevailing post-positivist paradigm of family science.&” &—Alan J. Hawkins and Jeffrey Hill, Journal of Marriage and the Family

&“Regardless of where you stand on this issue, Robinson and Godbey's arguments and data make for very interesting reading and open a cultural window on American society. . . . This is a piece of scholarship that should be read and its conclusions contemplated by people well outside the readership of this journal. . . . Time for Life is good social science research that should appeal to a broad audience.&” &—Journal of Communication

 

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Time for life: the surprising ways Americans use their time

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Based on "time diaries" kept by a cross section of Americans, this report of how we spend our time concludes that we define ourselves primarily by our work. We are a "rushed" people who believe that ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction and Methods 1 The Use of Time
3
TimeDeepening
24
Interpreting the Time Famine
43
4 Measuring How People Spend Time
57
Activity Codes for 1975 and 1985 National Studies
70
Work and Other Obligations 5 The Overestimated Workweek and Trends in Hours at Work
81
Trends in Average Hours Spent at Paid Work
95
Trends in Housework and Family Care
97
Trends in Arts Participation
179
Trends in Fitness and Exercise Activities
183
The Demographics of Time Use 12 Background Predictors of Time Use
189
Summary Correlations of Background Factors and Activities
190
Toward an Androgynous Society
197
Ratio of Mens to Womens Time on Various Activities Across Time
199
Widening Age Gaps in Time Use
205
Comparisons of 19891990
211

Trends in Family Care
105
Trends in Total Productive Activity
108
Trends in Personal Care and Travel
110
Trends in Personal Care and Travel
112
Free Time 8 Trends in Free Time 19651985
123
Trends in Free Time
126
Differences in Free Time by Background Factors
128
Trends in Television Time and Other Media
136
Differences in Activities of TV Owners and Nonowners
140
Trends in TV and Other Media Time
145
Differences in TV Time by Background Factors
146
Home Computers and Use of Time
154
Mass Media Use and Use of Home Computers Yesterday
161
Mass Media Use and LongerTerm Use of Home Computers 1995
162
Social Capital and the Rest of Free Time
167
Trends in Social Capital and Other FreeTime Activities
170
Trends in Social Capital Activities for Matched Samples
176
Status and Racial Differences in Time Use
216
Trends in Various Activities by Race
223
Subjective Time
229
Perceptions of Feeling Rushed
232
Differences in Stress by Background Factors and Year
234
24 Items on the Time Crunch Scale and Scale Correlates
237
Differences in Activity Enjoyment Ratings
243
The Results from Inputs of Time
252
CrossNational Differences in Time Use 1965
262
Japan and the United States
265
Only Time Will Tell
287
Brother Can You Spare Some Time?
303
A Activity Differences Between 1965 1975 and 1985
321
H Proportionate Time Spent on Various Aspects of Household
334
References
347
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About the author (2010)

John P. Robinson is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Americans' Use of Time Project at the Survey Research Center at the University of Maryland. He is the senior author of several books dealing with the use of time and the quality of life, including The Rhythm of Everyday Life: How Soviet and American Citizens Use Time (1988) and How Americans Use Time (1977).

Geoffrey Godbey is Professor of Leisure Studies at Penn State University. His most recent book is Leisure in Your Life: An Exploration, 5th Edition (1999).

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