The society of the leisure activities in the shadow of the value work

French are often seen as being fond of leisure time and leisure time activities. The present research shows that even if leisure time and social relations became more and more important over the last twenty years, they remain still less important than in other comparable countries such as Germany or the UK: this is true from the perspective of the available leisure time as well as with regard to the household budget dedicated to leisure time and culture, the population aspirations or the use of leisure time. On the contrary, in France, one can rather observe an overestimation of the professional sphere, which is seen as both, a duty to society and a way of self-fulfilment. Even disappointments linked to the omnipresence of unemployment and increasing working-stress do not make people escape to the private sphere. The main reason for investing leisure time is rather a desire for a more “intense” and richer life where the different poles (work, leisure time, family or friends) are playing all together a more important role. On the contrary, the importance given to « work » as a value probably explains that leisure time is not seen that much important in France than in other developed countries. However, aspiring to more leisure time and a more intense social life was restrained, over the last years, by financial difficulties of the households slowing down a social process which will certainly continue.

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