UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families Working Paper No. 60 2006
This paper examines US and Italian parents' discourses on family time in parent-filled weekly activity charts and interviews with parents. Analysis indicates that in the US, parents talk about sheltering and isolating their nuclear nest from the outside world and from everyday routine by creating special times and special activities for the family. In contrast, Italian parents' discourse allows the merging of family and time with other community members (e.g. friends) institutions and social spaces. We propose that these differing views are linked to the way in which individuals' sense of control and personal responsibility have been constructed in the two cultural contexts.