Relatives, Friends and Strangers: The Links Between Voluntary Activity, Sociability and Care

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Abstract
This paper draws on an analysis of data from the study of time-diaries (the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Time Use Surveys) to examine the connection between sociability and care. Using information on the behaviour of carers our findings are consistent with the social capital approach. We have found that there is a regular pattern of differences between co-residential carers and those who do not live in the same household as the care recipient. Co-residential carers mostly offer assistances spouses, children or parents. Their activities show strong evidence of being constrained by the ‘burdens’ of care, focusing leisure on home-based activities like watching television and are far less likelihood to socialise with others beyond their own household. Alternatively, caring for someone in another household is associated with less time watching television, increased participation in informal and formal voluntary work and increased propensity towards public sociability.
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Wilkinson, Jennifer
Bittman, Michael
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2003
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Working Paper
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