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


The Use of Time
The Speedup of Life TimeDeepening
Interpreting the Time Famine
Measuring How People Spend Time
The Overestimated Workweek and Trends in Hours at Work
Trends in Housework and Family Care
Trends in Personal Care and Travel
Trends in Free Time 19651985
Widening Age Gaps in Time Use
Status and Racial Differences in Time Use
Perceptions of Time Pressure
How People Feel About Their Daily Activities
The Results from Inputs of Time
Comparisons with Other Countries
Issues for the Future
Brother Can You Spare Some Time?

Trends in Television Time and Other Media
Home Computers and Use of Time
Social Capital and the Rest of Free Time
Background Predictors of Time Use
Gender Differences and Trends Toward an Androgynous Society

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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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