Bryson, Valerie (2003) Sex, Lies and Time-Use Studies. In: International Association for Time Use Research Conference 2003: Comparing Time - The 25th IATUR Conference on Time Use Research, 17th - 19th September 2003, Brussels, Belgium. (Unpublished)

The exploration of differences between women and men is an important aspect of time-use research. Although some of this work raises sophisticated methodological issues around the measurement and identification of different activities, most researchers seem to accept ‘common sense’ assumptions about the nature of reality, treating sex/gender as a self-evident and straightforward category and assuming that there are objectively correct answers to the question of how people spend their time.
This paper draws on recent developments in feminist theory to question such assumptions. It problematises attempts to identify what an individual is doing in any time-period, and explores ideas around the instability, construction and performance of gender roles to consider how these affect both the performance and reporting of particular activities. It concludes that such theoretical issues have practical implications for both empirical researchers and policy makers.

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