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26-02-2018 | Issue 3/2019 Open Access

Social Indicators Research 3/2019

Unequal Times: Social Structure, Temporal Perspective, and Time Allocation in Poland

Social Indicators Research > Issue 3/2019
Ewa Jarosz


This study explored the links between individual’s time perspective and their structural position as well as related this perspective to how people spend their time. Time perspective was defined by individual’s scores on two distinct factors—future-orientation and clock-orientation. These factors were analysed jointly in order to account for how people organized their time within a short-term (clock-orientation) and a long-term (future-orientation) horizon. Temporal orientations were socially differentiated, primarily by education and income. Better educated individuals were more future-oriented, while those with higher income showed preference for more rigid clock-based organization of time on a daily basis. Both orientations were also related to how time was spent. Clock-oriented individuals allocated significantly more time to paid work and less time to social life or personal time. Future-oriented respondents spent more time on personal life and physical exercise. These findings suggest that temporal orientations are linked to how much time individuals allocate to both market and non-market activities, net of their other social characteristics. The study casts light on the much overlooked dimension of social inequality—the temporal one, and links individual’s structural position, attitudes towards time, and time-use patterns.
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