Network Effects on Retirement and Time Scarcity

Boroka Bo , University of California, Berkeley

Why is it that life in retirement remains equally rushed for many, despite a lack of participation in the paid labor force? This study examines the puzzling phenomenon of post-retirement time scarcity using a mixed methods approach: data come from MTUS (N=15,390) in combination with in-depth interviews (N=167) and long-term participant observation (980 hours). I show that post-retirement, the number of minutes of leisure time per day and/or number of hours worked per week do not adequately capture the lived experience of time scarcity. Extending the notion of time as a network good, I delineate both the individual and social network-based factors that lead to time scarcity. I differentiate between the three types of subjective time scarcity experienced by the aged. I conclude that continued focus on relating network-based stratification processes with the micro-level influence of time scarcity is necessary for understanding the links between the micro and macro levels of these phenomena.

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 Presented in Session 57. Social Networks and Social Support among Older People