Time-Use Studies: A Potentially Feminist Tool

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Many feminists see inequalities in time use as a key aspect of male privilege and female disadvantage. Many also see quantitative time-use studies as an important resource, providing empirical evidence to support their claims. However, more theoretical work on the nature and meaning of time suggests that the studies are based on male experiences and assumptions. As such, they cannot capture the implications of caring responsibilities, and their use both obscures important aspects of temporal inequality and reinforces the hegemony of male perspectives. This article assesses these arguments, focusing on western democracies and using childcare in the UK as a case study. It finds that some time-use research has indeed misrepresented the extent and nature of continuing temporal inequalities. However, some more recent work is clearly informed by feminist concerns and has the potential to provide more sophisticated understanding. The article concludes that time-use studies can serve as a feminist tool, but only if their limitations are recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-153
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Feminist Journal of Politics
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2008
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2008


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