Social Indicators Research

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 27–38 | Cite as

What Happened to the Society of Leisure? Of the Gap Between the “Haves” and “Have Nots” (Canadian Time Use and Well-Being Trends)

  • Jiri ZuzanekEmail author


Canadian time use trends of the past 30 years are examined, using General Social Survey data collected by Statistics Canada in 1981, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2005, and 2010. The article analyses changes in the allocation of time to paid work, domestic work, personal needs, and free time, as well as accompanying changes in perceived time pressure and subjective well-being. The article addresses four questions: (1) Do objectively measured time use trends support optimistic forecasts of the 1960s that transition to post-industrial societies is accompanied by substantial gains of free time? (2) Did the time use changes of the past 30 years affect different population and lifecycle groups evenly or asymmetrically? (3) Is there an accord or discord between the objective measures of time use and subjective feelings of time pressure? (4) What are the emotional, and socio-political implications of the observed time use trends?


Society of leisure Polarization of time use SWB 



The author would like to thank Ruut Veenhoven for harmonizing Canadian life satisfaction ratings. Thanks are also due to Roger Mannell, Theo Beckers, Tony Veal, Bryan Smale, Margo Hilbrecht and Pascal Peters for their continuous assistance in addressing issues examined in this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.TorontoCanada

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