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Social Change and Everyday Life

Mid-Term Report Summary - SCAEL (Social Change and Everyday Life)

The Social Change and Economic Life project draws on a special archive of over one million days of time-use data, collected from more than 20 countries over a 55 year period. It uses these, together with other specialised high-tech time-use survey materials, to develop new theory as well as empirical accounts of change in social and economic structure.

Among the outputs from the SCaEL project is a new systematic, comprehensive, empirical view of changes in activity patterns across the developed world as it moves from the industrial to the post-industrial period.
• Sleep time appears to remain roughly constant or even slightly increases over recent decades
• Women do less unpaid and more paid work, while men do slightly less paid and slightly more unpaid work
• The total of paid and unpaid work time is quite similar between women and men, but women still do proportionally more unpaid, and men proportionally more paid, work.
• The degree of gender equality in the distribution of work time varies across countries within the developed world according to geographical/sociocultural locations: Nordic countries come the closest to gender equality, followed by Anglophone countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada) then continental European countries (France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands). Southern European countries (Spain, Italy) maintain the greatest degree of gender differentiation in work times
• The old pre-industrial and industrial positive association between higher socio-economic position and leisure time seems to have reversed, with higher-status men and women working longer hours than lower-status
More data (from Eastern European countries, and India, China, South Korea) have now become available, and we hope to further broaden our geographical perspective over the next few years.