Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 111, Issue 2, pp 403–434 | Cite as

Leisure Time in Modern Societies: A New Source of Boredom and Stress?

  • Max Haller
  • Markus Hadler
  • Gerd Kaup
Article

Abstract

The increase in leisure time over the last century is well documented. We know much less, however, about the quality of the use of leisure time. Quite divergent predictions exist in this regard: Some authors have argued that the new, extensive free time will lead to new forms of time pressure and stress; others have foreseen an expansion of boredom. This is the first paper that systematically investigates the quality of leisure time in 36 countries around the world. It uses the 2007 ISSP-survey “Leisure Time and Sport”. We investigate stress and boredom during leisure time by making use of four general theories about international and intercultural differences. The theories relate to the level of socio-economic development, religious–cultural systems, types of welfare states, and to the emergence of specific “time regimes”. In addition, we control for the effect of relevant individual level variables. At the macro level, significant differences emerge concerning the level of development, the dominant religion, and the extent of welfare benefits. The most interesting finding, however, was that a typology of leisure time regimes is the most suited to explain the considerable differences between the 36 countries compared. Implications of this finding for time policy and further research are discussed in the concluding section.

Keywords

Leisure time Boredom Time stress International comparative research 

Supplementary material

11205_2012_23_MOESM1_ESM.doc (272 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 272 kb)

References

  1. Bailey, R., & Park, A. (2009). Britain at play: Should we ‘do’ more and view less? In A. Park, et al. (Eds.), British social attitudes: The 25th report (pp. 173–201). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Barro, R. H., & McCleary, R. M. (2003). Religion and economic growth. American Sociological Review, 68, 760–781.Google Scholar
  3. Bell, D. (1975). Die nachindustrielle Gesellschaft. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  4. Bellebaum, A. (1990). Langeweile, Überdruß und Lebenssinn. Eine geistesgeschichtliche und kultursoziologische Untersuchung. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Google Scholar
  5. Bergmann, W. (1989). Zeitgrenzen. Die zeitliche Dimension der Grenzerhaltung sozialer Systeme. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 15, 243–256.Google Scholar
  6. Bertaux, D., & Bertaux-Wiame, I. (1981). Artisanal bakery in France: How it lives and why it survives. In: F. Bechhofer & B. Elliott (Eds.), The Petite Bougeoisie. Comparative studies of the uneasy stratum (pp. 155–181). London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Bittman, M., & Wajcman, J. (2000). The rush hour: The character of leisure time and gender equity. Social Forces, 79, 165–189.Google Scholar
  8. Bonke, J., & Gerstoft, F. (2007). Stress, time use and gender. International Journal of Time Use Research (electronic)., 4, 47–68.Google Scholar
  9. Carriero, R., Ghysels, J., & van Klaveren, C. (2009). Do parents coordinate their work schedules? A comparison of Dutch, Flemish, and Italian dual-earner households. European Sociological Review, 25, 603–617.Google Scholar
  10. Castells, M. (1996). The information age. Economy, society and culture. Vol. I. The rise of the network society. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. Chang, C. S. (1998). Confucian capitalism: Impact of culture and the management system on economic growth in South Korea. Journal of Third World Studies, 98, 53–67.Google Scholar
  12. Crompton, R., & Lyonette, C. (2006). Work-life ‘balance’ in Europe. Acta Sociologica, 49(4), 379–393.Google Scholar
  13. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow. The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial.Google Scholar
  14. De Grazia, S. (1964). Of time, work and leisure. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  15. Decher, F. (2000). Besuch vom Mittagsdämon. Philosophie der Langeweile. Lüneburg: zu Klampen Verlag.Google Scholar
  16. Deutsch, K. W. (1966). Nationalism and social communication. An inquiry into the foundations of nationality. Cambridge, MA: The M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  17. Diener, E., & Oishi, S. (2000). Money and happiness: Income and subjective well-being across nations. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 185–218). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dumazedier, J. (1974). Sociology of leisure. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  19. Durkheim, E. (1964 [1893]). The division of labor in society. New York/London: The Free Press/Collier Macmillan.Google Scholar
  20. Elias, N. (1984). Über die Zeit. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  21. Eriksson, L., Rice, J. M., & Goodin, R. E. (2007). Temporal aspects of life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 80, 511–533.Google Scholar
  22. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  23. Farr, J. (1985). Situational analysis: Explanation in Social Science. The Journal of Politics, 47, 1085–1107.Google Scholar
  24. Faust, J., Lauth, H.-J., & Muno, W. (2004). Demokratisierung und Wohlfahrtsstaat in Lateinamerika: Querschnittsvergleich und Fallstudien. In A. Croissant, G. Erdmann, & F. W. Rüb (Eds.), Wohlfahrtsstaatliche Politik in jungen Demokratien (pp. 190–222). Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag.Google Scholar
  25. Figl, J. (Ed.). (2003). Handbuch Religionswissenschaft. Religionen und ihre zentralen Themen. Innsbruck/Wien: Typrolia-Verlag.Google Scholar
  26. Fischer Weltalmanach. (2008). Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.Google Scholar
  27. Flaherty, M. G. (1999). A watched pot: How we experience time. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Fourastié, J. (1965). Les 40.000 heures. Paris: Robert Laffont.Google Scholar
  29. Franke, R. H., Hofstede, G., & Bond, M. H. (1991). Cultural roots of economic performance: A research note. Strategic Management Journal, 12, 165–173.Google Scholar
  30. Frey, B. S. (2008). Happiness. A revolution in economics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  31. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2002). Happiness and economics. How the economy and institutions affect well-being. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Fukutake, T. (1989). The Japanese social structure. Its evolution in the modern century. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.Google Scholar
  33. Garhammer, M. (1999). Wie Europäer ihre Zeit nutzen. Zeitstrukturen und Zeitkulturen im Zeichen der Globalisierung. Berlin: Edition Sigma.Google Scholar
  34. Garhammer, M. (2002). Pace of life and enjoyment of life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3, 217–256.Google Scholar
  35. Gavron, H. (1966). The captive wife. Conflicts of housebound mothers. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  36. Gell, A. (1992). The anthropology of time. Cultural constructions of temporal maps and images. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  37. Gershuny, J. (2000). Changing times. Work and leisure in postindustrial society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Gershuny, J., & Sullivan, O. (2003). Time use, gender and public policy regimes. Social Politics, 10, 205–228.Google Scholar
  39. Goodin, R. E., Rice, J. M., Bittman, M., & Saunders, P. (2005). The time-pressure illusion: Discretionary time vs. free time. Social Indicators Research, 73, 43–70.Google Scholar
  40. Graham, C. (2009). Happiness around the World: The paradox of happy peasants and miserable millionaires. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Graham, C., & Lora, E. (Eds.). (2009). Paradox and perception. Measuring quality of life in Latin America. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  42. Gross, P. (1994). Die Multioptionsgesellschaft. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  43. Hakim, C. (2002). Models of the family in modern societies: Ideals and realities. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  44. Haller, M. (1990). The challenge for comparative sociology in the transformation of Europe. International Sociology, 5, 183–204.Google Scholar
  45. Haller, M. (2003). Soziologische Theorie im systematisch-kritischen Vergleich. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  46. Haller, M. (2005). Auf dem Weg zur mündigen Gesellschaft? Wertwandel in Österreich 1986 bis 2003. In M. Haller, W. Schulz & A. Grausgruber (Eds.), Österreich zur Jahrhundertwende. Gesellschaftliche Werthaltungen und Lebensqualität 19862004 (pp. 33–73). Österreich zur Jahrhundertwende, Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  47. Haller, M., & Hadler, M. (2006). How social relations and structures can produce life satisfaction and happiness. An international comparative analysis. Social Indicators Research, 75, 161–216.Google Scholar
  48. Haller, M., Höllinger, F., & Gomilschak, M. (2000). Attitudes toward gender roles in international comparison. New findings from twenty countries. In: R. Richter & S. Supper (Eds.), New qualities in the life course. Intercultural aspects (pp. 131–152). Würzburg: Ergon.Google Scholar
  49. Haller, M., Jowell, R., & Smith, T. (Eds.). (2009). The international social survey programme, 1984–2009. Charting the globe. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Haller, M., & Müller, B. (2008). Characteristics of personality and identity in population surveys: Approaches for operationalising and localizing variables to explain life satisfaction. Bulletin de Métholodogie Sociologique, 99, 5–33.Google Scholar
  51. Hamermesh, D. S., & Lee, J. (2007). Stressed out on four continents: Time crunch or yuppie kvetch? The Review of Economics and Statistics, 89, 374–383.Google Scholar
  52. Heuwinkel, L. (2004). Zeitprobleme in der Beschleunigungsgesellschaft. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Nr. 31-32, Beilage zur Wochenzeitung. Das Parlament. Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin (Internet resource).Google Scholar
  53. Hirsch, F. (1976). Social limits to growth. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Hochschild, A., & Machung, A. (1993). Der 48-Stunden-Tag. Wege aus dem Dilemma berufstätiger Eltern. München: Knaur.Google Scholar
  55. Höllinger, F., & Haller, M. (2009). Decline or persistence of religion? Trends in religiosity among Christian societies around the world. In: M. Haller, R. Jowell & T. W. Smith (Eds.), The international social survey programme 19842009. Charting the globe (pp. 281–301). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  56. Hungerford, T. L., & Floro, M. S. (2004). Time intensity and well-being: what we learn from time-use data. In E. N. Wolff (Ed.), What has happened to the quality of life in the advanced industrial nations? (pp. 275–310). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  57. Huntford, R. (1974). Wohlfahrtsdiktatur. Das schwedische Modell. Frankfurt et al.: Ullstein.Google Scholar
  58. Inglehart, R., & Klingemann, H.-D. (2000). Genes, culture, democracy and happiness. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 165–184). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  59. Jaques, E. (1967). Equitable payment. A general theory of work, differential payment, and individual progress. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  60. Kather, R. (2000). Über die Zeit. In Mensch, Natur, Technik, vol. 6, Die Zukunft unseres Planeten (pp. 14–47). Leipzig/Mannheim: Brockhaus.Google Scholar
  61. Klapp, O. E. (1986). Overload and boredom. Essays on the quality of life in the information society. New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  62. Korpi, W. (2000). Faces of inequality: Gender, class and patterns of inequalities in different types of welfare states. Social Politics, 7, 127–191.Google Scholar
  63. Kuhn, R. C. (1976). The demon of noontide. Ennui in western literature. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Lamprecht, M., & Stamm, H. (1994). Die soziale Ordnung der Freizeit. Soziale Unterschiede im Freizeitverhalten der Schweizer Wohnbevölkerung. Zürich: Seismo.Google Scholar
  65. Lane, R. E. (2000). The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Layard, R. (2005a). Die glückliche Gesellschaft. Kurswechsel für Politik und Wirtschaft. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  67. Layard, R. (2005b). The new happiness. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  68. Lee, H. K. (1987). The Japanese welfare state in transition. In: R. R. Friedmann et al. (Eds.), Modern welfare states. A comparative view of trends and prospects (pp. 243–263). Brighton, Sussex: Wheatsheaf Books.Google Scholar
  69. Leira, A. (2002). Working parents and the welfare state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  70. Lepsius, R. M. (1988). Interessen, Ideen und Institutionen. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag.Google Scholar
  71. Levine, R. (1998). A geography of time. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  72. Lewada, J. (1992). Die Sowjetmenschen 1989–1991. Siedler: Soziogramm eines Zerfalls. Berlin.Google Scholar
  73. Linder, S. B. (1970). The harried leisure class. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Linhart, S. (1988). From industrial to postindustrial society: Changes in Japanese leisure-related values and behavior. Journal of Japanese Studies, 14, 271–307.Google Scholar
  75. Linhart, S., & Frühstück, S. (Eds.). (1998). The culture of Japan as seen through its leisure. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  76. Luhmann, N. (1984). Soziale Systeme. Grundriß einer allgemeinen Theorie. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  77. Mackenzie, R. A., & Waldo, K. C. (1981). About time. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  78. Manow, P. (2008). Religion und Sozialstaat. Die konfessionellen Grundlagen europäischer Wohlfahrtsstaatsregime. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  79. Manzenreiter, W., & Ben-Ari, E. (2004). Leisure and consumer culture. In: K. Josef et al. (Eds.), Modern Japanese society (pp. 489–524). Leiden/Boston: Brill.Google Scholar
  80. Mattingly, M. J., & Bianchi, S. M. (2003). Gender differences in the quantity and quality of free time: The U.S. experience. Social Forces, 81, 999–1030.Google Scholar
  81. Matzner, E. (1982). Der Wohlfahrtsstaat von morgen. Entwurf eines zeitgemäßen Musters staatlicher Interventionen. Schriften des Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Frankfurt/New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  82. Mensching, G. (1989). Die Weltreligionen. Wiesbaden: VMA-Verlag.Google Scholar
  83. Meulemann, H., & Gilles, D. (2011). Popular and ever more popular? Television and leisure in Germany 1987–2007. Koelner Zeitschrift fuer Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 63, 255–278.Google Scholar
  84. Miechtner, G. (2008). Theoretisch gibt es die Freiheit, aber praktisch hat man keine Zeit dafür. Frauen im postsozialistischen Alltag erzählen …, Diploma thesis, University of Vienna.Google Scholar
  85. Noelle-Neumann, E. (1978). Werden wir alle Proletarier? Wertewandel in unserer Gesellschaft. Zürich: Interform.Google Scholar
  86. Nohlen, D., Waldmann, P., & Ziemer, K. (Eds.). (1997). Lexikon der Politik. Band 4. Die östlichen und südlichen Länder. München: C.H. Beck.Google Scholar
  87. Nowotny, H. (1989). Eigenzeit. Entstehung und Strukturierung eines Zeitgefühls. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  88. Offe, C. (1994). Der Tunnel am Ende des Lichts. Erkundungen der politischen Transformation im Osten. Frankfurt/New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  89. Opaschowski, H. W. (1997). Einführung in die Freizeitwissenschaft. Opladen: Leske & Budrich.Google Scholar
  90. Otterbach, S. (2009). Mismatches between actual and preferred work time: Empirical evidence of hours constraints in 21 countries. Journal of Consumer Policy, 33, 143–161.Google Scholar
  91. Parsons, T., & Shils, E. A. (1951). Values, motives and systems of action. In T. Parsons & E. A. Shils (Eds.), Toward a general theory of action (pp. 47–275). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  92. Pierson, C. (Ed.). (2007). The welfare state reader. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  93. Piirainen, T. (Ed.). (1994). Change and continuity in Eastern Europe. Aldershot: Dartmonth.Google Scholar
  94. Pinker, S. (2008). The sexual paradox: Men, women and the real gender gap. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  95. Pöppel, E. (1983). Erlebte Zeit und die Zeit überhaupt: Ein Versuch der Integration. In: A. Peisl & A. Mohler (Eds.), Die Zeit. Schriftenreihe der Carl Friedrich von Siemens Stiftung, Band 6 (pp. 369–382). München: Oldenbourg.Google Scholar
  96. Popper, K. R. (1994). The myth of the framework. In M. A. Notturno (Ed.), Defence of science and rationality (pp. 154–184). London/New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  97. Pross, H. (1975). Die Wirklichkeit der Hausfrau. Reinbek: Rowohlt.Google Scholar
  98. Ragheb, M. G., & Merydith, S. P. (2001). Development and validation of a multidimensional scale measuring free time boredom. Leisure Studies, 20, 41–59.Google Scholar
  99. Rice, J. M., Goodin, R. E., & Parpo, A. (2006). The temporal welfare state: A crossnational comparison. Journal of Public Policy, 26(3), 195–228.Google Scholar
  100. Robinson, J. P., & Godbey, G. (1997). Time for life. The surprising way American use their time. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania University Press.Google Scholar
  101. Rosa, H. (2005). Beschleunigung. Die Veränderung der Zeitstrukturen in der Moderne. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  102. Schor, J. B. (1993). The overworked American. The unexpected decline of leisure. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  103. Schulze, G. (1992). Die Erlebnisgesellschaft. Kultursoziologie der Gegenwart. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag.Google Scholar
  104. Schwartz, B. (1993). On the creation and destruction of value. In M. Hechter, L. Nadel, & R. E. Michod (Eds.), The origin of values (pp. 153–186). New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  105. Scitovsky, T. (1976). The joyless economy. An inquiry into human satisfaction and consumer dissatisfaction. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  106. Seidel, N., & Verwiebe, R. (2006). Der Wandel von Zeitstrukturen in der tertiären Gesellschaft. Berliner Debatte Initial, 17, 97–109.Google Scholar
  107. Selye, H. (1976). Stress in health and disease. Woburn, MA: Butterworth.Google Scholar
  108. Sennett, R. (1998). Der flexible Mensch. Die Kultur des neuen Kapitalismus. Berlin: Berlin Verlag.Google Scholar
  109. Simmel, G. (1903). Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben. In T. Petermann (Ed.), Jahrbuch der Gehe-Stiftung (Vol. 9, pp. 185–206). Dresden: GeheStiftung.Google Scholar
  110. Simmel, G. (1992 [1897]). Die Bedeutung des Geldes für das Tempo des Lebens. In G. Simmel (Eds.), Soziologie. Untersuchungen über die Formen der Vergesellschaftung. O. Rammstedt, ed., Band 5 (pp. 215–234). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  111. Snijders, T., & Bosker, R. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modelling. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  112. Suh, E. M. (2000). Why are Americans happier than East Asians? In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 63–86). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  113. Sullivan, O. (2007). Cultural voraciousness—A new measure of the pace of leisure in a context of ›harriedness‹. International Journal of Time Use Research, 4, 30–46.Google Scholar
  114. Sundberg, N. D., Latkin, C. A., Farma, R. F., & Sroud, S. (1991). Boredom in young adults. Gender and cultural comparisons. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 22, 209–223.Google Scholar
  115. Szalai, A., In collaboration with Philip Converse, Scheuch, E. K., et al. (Eds.). (1972). The use of time. Daily activities of urban and suburban populations in twelve countries. The Hague/Paris: Mouton.Google Scholar
  116. Szelewa D., & Polakowski, M. P. (2008). Who cares? Changing patterns of childcare in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, 18, 115–131.Google Scholar
  117. Thoits, P. A. (1991). On merging identity theory and stress research. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54, 101–112.Google Scholar
  118. Thompson, E. P. (1967). Time, work-discipline, and industrial capitalism. Past and Present, 38, 56–97.Google Scholar
  119. Toffler, A. (1970). The future shock. New York: Random House (hier zit. nach Der Zukunftsschock, Mü: Goldmann 1970).Google Scholar
  120. Triandis, H. C. (2000). Cultural syndromes and subjective well-being. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective well-being (pp. 13–36). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  121. Veblen, T. (1994 [1899]). The theory of the leisure class. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  122. Wallace, J. E., & Young, M. C. (2010). Work hard, play hard?: A comparison of male and female lawyers’ time in paid and unpaid work and participation in leisure activities. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie, 47(1), 27–47.Google Scholar
  123. Weber, M. (1973). Die ‘Objektivität’ sozialwissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis. In M. Weber (Ed.), Soziologie—Universalgeschichtliche Analysen—Politik (pp. 186–262). Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner.Google Scholar
  124. Weber, M. (1984[1905]). Die protestantische Ethik I. Eine Aufsatzsammlung. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus Gerd Mohn.Google Scholar
  125. Weber, M. (1988 [1920]). Die Wirtschaftsethik der Weltreligionen. In M. Weber (Ed.), Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie I (pp. 237–573). Tübingen: J.C.B.Mohr.Google Scholar
  126. Willi, V. J. (1966). Grundlagen einer Soziologie der Werte und Wertsysteme. Zürich: Orell Füssli.Google Scholar
  127. Wolff, E. N. (Ed.). (2004). What has happened to the quality of life in the advanced industrial nations?/Northampton. MA: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  128. World Labour Report. (2000). Income security and social protection in a changing world. Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  129. Zahn, E. (1960). Soziologie der Prosperität. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft im Zeitalter des Wohlstandes. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.Google Scholar
  130. Zerubavel, E. (1982). The standardization of time: A sociohistorical perspective. American Journal of Sociology, 88, 1–23.Google Scholar
  131. Zinzius, B. (2004). Doing business in China. A handbook and guide. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyKarl Franzens-UniversityGrazAustria
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social AnthropologyMarshall UniversityHuntingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations