John Robinson has therefore analysed the daily routine of Americans and the changes that have occurred in their lives in recent decades. He then uses this information to compare France and the United States.
The trends in how time is divided between work, the family and leisure pursuits has changed little overall since the 1960s, and turn out to be remarkably similar in the two countries. Nevertheless certain changes can be observed: more women in paid work, less time spent on household tasks and caring for the family, men taking on a greater share of household tasks and a slight fall in the amount of time spent on personal care (washing, dressing, etc.). The greater leisure time available tends to be spent watching television and keeping fit.
While French and American trends usually run in parallel, they diverge in certain areas, in particular the non-productive aspects of life (meals, socializing, group activities) that increase the social capital of daily life. Unlike the Americans, the French prefer to spend their leisure time with other people even though, paradoxically, they spend less time with their children when they get older.