Household Expenditure on Leisure: a Comparative Study of Italian Households with Children from Y- and Z-Generation

Abstract

The intrinsic complexity of post-materialist society makes it challenging to investigate the connection between social changes and generations. However, the study of consumption might help in the analysis of such a connection. In this paper, we analyse empirical data of consumption on leisure of Italian households, and focus on families at a very precise stage of family life-cycle, that is, couples with teenager children. We look at consumption of households at different points in time, 2001, 2007, and 2012, in order to investigate the impact of both social change and generation of children–Y-generation in 2001 and 2007, and Z-generation in 2012–on the leisure expenditure patterns of families. Specifically, we consider secondary data of yearly expenditure on a wide range of different leisure activities, and use hierarchical clustering and logistic regression to highlight specificities in family consumption patterns on leisure, depending on both the generation of offspring and the inter-time between sampled cohorts, 2001–2012 and 2007–2012. Our analysis indicates the presence of differences between the consumption patterns on leisure of families with Y-generation children and families with Z-generation children. However, our results also point out that such differences cannot be explained by solely invoking the different generation of offspring, and that social changes should also be taken into account.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    Most of the social research work as well as of the popular publicity identifies the Y-generation with those born between 1980 and 2000. In this context it was decided to use the categorisation of Nielsen because it was considered more coherent with the literature concerning the identification of different generational groups as consumer actors. Nielsen ranks the Millennials as those born between 1981 and 1994.

  2. 2.

    According to Morin 1962, libidinization is a continued interest and appetite for new goods that satisfy transitory and nonessential needs.

  3. 3.

    According to ISTAT, a household is defined by people that live together, linked by emotional ties, relationship, marriage, affinity or adoption.

  4. 4.

    For more details on the survey design, the methodological note for years 2001, 2007 and 2012 can be downloaded at: https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/4021 (language: Italian).

  5. 5.

    A few families with both parents unoccupied have been removed from the analysis, as well as the few families that showed no expenditure at all among the 25 considered expenditure categories.

  6. 6.

    See, for instance, https://www.ikea.com/ms/en_JP/about_ikea/facts_and_figures/ikea_group_stores/italy.html

  7. 7.

    Average Linkage method of hierarchical clustering was also performed, giving a similar partitioning of the families in the data set to the Complete Linkage algorithm.

  8. 8.

    More details on the survey design can be found at http://siqual.istat.it/SIQual/visualizza.do?id=0058000

References

  1. Alwin, D. F., & McCammon, R. J. (2003). Generations, cohorts, and social change. In J. T. Mortimer & M. J. Shanahan (Eds.), Handbook of the life course (pp. 23–49). New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Anderberg, M. R. (1973). Cluster analysis for applications. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bagnasco, A., Barbagli, M., & Cavalli, A. (1997). Corso di sociologia. Bologna: Il Mulino.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Becker, G. S., & Tomes, N. (1986). Human capital and the rise and fall of family. Journal of Labor Economics, 4(3), 1–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bhayani, A. (2015). Social and peer influences in college choice. ICEBMM 2015: International conference on economics and business market management, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, United States, 1–20.

  7. Blackshaw, T. (2010). Leisure. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Brosdahl, D. J. C., & Carpenter, J. M. (2011). Shopping orientations of US males: A generational cohort comparison. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 18, 548–554.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chhetri, P., Hossain, M. I., & Broom, A. (2014). Examining the generational differences in consumption patterns in south East Queensland. City, Culture and Society, 5(4), 1–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Choukas-Bradley, S., Giletta, M., Cohen, G. L., & Prinstein, M. J. (2015). Peer influence, peer status, and prosocial behavior: An experimental investigation of peer socialization of adolescents’ intentions to volunteer. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(12), 2197–2210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Confcommercio, Imprese per l’Italia (2014). Nota di aggiornamento rapporto consumi. Resource document. Ufficio Studi Confcommercio. http://www.ascomgallarate.it/upload/CONFCOMMERCIO_ANALISI_CONGIUNTURALE.pdf. Accessed 9 Jan 2019.

  13. Corsten, M. (1999). The time of generations. Time & Society, 8(2), 249–272.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Costanza, D. P., Badger, J. M., Fraser, R. L., Severt, J. B., & Gade, P. A. (2012). Generational differences in work-related attitudes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Business and Psychology, 27(4), 375–394.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Cox, D. R. (1958). The regression analysis of binary sequences. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B: Methodological, 20(2), 215–242.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Edmunds, J., & Turner, B. S. (2002a). Generations, culture and society. Buckingham: Open University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Edmunds, J., & Turner, B. S. (2002b). Generational consciousness, narrative and politics. London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Eisenstadt, S. N. (1956). From generation to generation: Age groups and social structure. Glencoe: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Eyerman, R., & Turner, B. S. (1998). Outline of a theory of generations. European Journal of Social Theory, 1(1), 91–106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Funches, V., Yarber-Allen, A., & Johnson, K. (2017). Generational and family structural differences in male attitudes and orientations towards shopping. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 37, 101–108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Gilleard, C. (2004). Cohorts and generations in the study of social change. Social Theory & Health, 2(1), 106–119.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Grant, I. C. (2004). Communicating with young people through the eyes of marketing practitioners. Journal of Marketing Management, 20(5–6), 591–606.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Kahle, L. R. (1996). Social values and consumer behavior: Research from the list of values. In C. Seligman et al. (Eds), The psychology of values: The Ontario symposium (vol. 8, pp. 135–151). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Kolnhofer-Derecskei, A., Reicher, R. Z., & Szeghegyi, A. (2017). Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, 14(8), 107–125.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Laslett, P. (1972). Household and the family in the past time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Leventhal, R. C. (1997). Aging consumers and their effects on the marketplace. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 14(4), 276–281.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Lindstrom, M., & Seybold, P. B. (2004). BrandChild: Remarkable insights into the minds of Today’s global kids and their relationships with brands. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Lo Verde, F. M. (2014). Sociologia dello sport e del tempo libero. Bologna: Il Mulino.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Lo Verde, F. M. (2015). Sport e tempo libero nelle regioni italiane. In Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana (ed.), L’Italia e le sue regioni. L’età repubblicana. Territori (pp. 581–600). Roma: Treccani.

  30. Mannheim, K. (1928). Das Problem der Generationen, in «Kölner Vierteljahres Hefte für Soziologie», VII, pp. 157–185, 309–330 (tr. en. 1952, Essays on the sociology of knowledge, Paul Kecskemeti (Ed.) London, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd).

  31. Matthews, B. W. (1975). Comparison of the predicted and observed secondary structure of T4 phage lysozyme. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 405(2), 442–451.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. McDonnell, E. M. (2013). Budgetary units: A Weberian approach to consumption. American Journal of Sociology, 119(2), 307–350.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Morin, E. (1962). L'esprit du temps. Paris: Grasset.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Mundt, M. P., Mercken, L., & Zakletskaia, L. (2012). Peer selection and influence effects on adolescent alcohol use: A stochastic actor-based model. BMC Pediatrics, 12, 115.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Noble, T. (2000). Social theory and social change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Przybylski, A. K., Murayama, K., DeHaan, C. R., & Gladwell, V. (2013). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1841–1848.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Rawlins, E. (2006). Mother knows best? Intergenerational notions of fashion and identity. Children’s Geographies, 4(3), 359–377.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Rowland, V. T., Nickols, S. Y., & Dodder, R. A. (1986). Parents' time allocation: A comparison of households headed by one and two parents. Home Economics Research Journal, 15(2), 105–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Sassatelli, R. (2010). Fitness culture: Gyms and the commercialisation of discipline and fun. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Sassatelli, R., Santoro, M., Semi, G. (2008). Quello che i consumi rivelano: spazi, pratiche e confini del ceto medio. In A. Bagnasco (a cura di), Ceto medio. Perché e come occuparsene (pp. 165–210). Bologna: Il Mulino.

  41. Solomon, M., Bamossy, G., Askegaard, S., & Hogg, M. K. (2006). Consumer behaviour: A European perspective. Edinburgh Gate Harlow Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Vago, S. (2003). Social change. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Waldkirch, A., Ng, S., & Cox, D. (2004). Intergenerational linkages in consumption behavior. The Journal of Human Resources, 39(2), 355–338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Weinstein, J. (2010). Social change. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

    Google Scholar 

  45. White, J. (2013). Thinking generations. The British Journal of Sociology, 64(2), 216–247.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Yao, Y.-Y. (2003). Information-theoretic measures for knowledge discovery and data mining. In J. Karmeshu (Ed.), Entropy measures, maximum entropy principle, and emerging applications (pp. 115–136). Berlin: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Zhang, Z., & Stewart A. M. (2016). Estimation of standardized mutual information. UNC Charlotte Technical Report, preprint no. 2016–07.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fabio M. Lo Verde.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

The analysis of microdata has been carried out at the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT) local office in Sicily, within a collaboration project on household expenditures, and the authors wish to thank Dr Fabrizio Consentino and Dr Roberto Foderà for support. Results reported in the present paper do not represent official statistics.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Diliberto, S., Tumminello, M. & Lo Verde, F.M. Household Expenditure on Leisure: a Comparative Study of Italian Households with Children from Y- and Z-Generation. Int J Sociol Leis 2, 121–146 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41978-019-00037-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Leisure
  • Generations
  • Family with adolescents
  • Household consumption
  • Classification
  • Multivariate analysis