AIHR new publication: Women and Leisure in the Italian Context
  • publication: 28 January 2022

AIHR news: new publication

In the Chapter titled “Women and Leisure in the Italian Context” Simona Staffieri and her co-author Emanuela Bologna examine how Italian women experience leisure and analyse the gendered use of leisure time.

Gender is an important indicator of the processes of social change affecting contemporary society. Yet, in the field of leisure research it has not always received the attention that it deserves. To fill this gap, recent research proposes to include gender as a significant aspect in leisure paradigms. Gender differences are often linked to demographic or sociocultural characteristics, such as age, level of education, or economic conditions.

In this context, the chapter aims at analysing gender differences in the use of leisure time within the Italian context using data periodically produced by official statistics. Data, collected over time, make it possible to observe changes occurring in the way men and women spend their leisure time. The chapter considers the main dimensions of leisure, such as social relationships, sports practice, tourism, cultural participation, and satisfaction with leisure time. To observe gender differences, statistical methods (descriptive and multivariate analysis) were implemented.

The results highlight the existence of strong differences in the way in which men and women spend their leisure time. In other words, the main outcome of the analysis reveals an imbalance between leisure time and non-leisurely activities for Italian women. To make some concrete examples, men have not only more time for leisure, but are also able to spend their leisure time unencumbered by other responsibilities. Women, champions at multitasking, manage to claim leisure time by superimposing leisure activities on other activities. Moreover, the number of women who felt very/quite satisfied with their leisure time was, as a percentage, consistently lower than the number of men because chores related to family care are demanding and, as such, reduce available leisure time.

Results presented in the chapter could be used to frame future research aimed at solving weakness and to fill information gaps in Italian leisure gender studies.

Staffieri, S., & Bologna, E. (2021). Women and Leisure in the Italian Context. In Ingram, L. J., Tarkó, K., & Slocum, S. L. (Eds.). Women, leisure and tourism: Self-actualization and empowerment through the production and consumption of experience (Chapter 14, pp.152-167). CABI.

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Simona Staffieri, PhD, external member of the Research Group Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism