Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time

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Penn State Press, 1997 - Social Science - 367 pages
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 Americans have almost five hours more free time per week than in the 1960s. Here time-use experts John P. Robinson and Geoffrey Godbey explain this surprising trend and how it has come about. They also discuss why so few Americans apparently appreciate how their free time has increased or how that new free time is being used. Their unique source of time-use information, the Americans' Use of Time Project, is the only such detailed historical data archive in the United States. Every ten years the project has been asking thousands of Americans to report their daily activities on an hour-by-hour basis in time diaries.
 

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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
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
Age Differences in Time Use
207

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
Comparisons of 19891990
211
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
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 (1997)

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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