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Conference Papers Year : 2022

Single mothers’ coordination of time and space in the Paris region


The evolution of cities has led to an increase in the complexity of daily travel for their inhabitants. At the same time, the evolution of the family has resulted in the emergence and multiplication of single-parent families. The vast majority of these households are headed by single mothers. For these mothers, who are responsible for all the domestic and family work and must at the same time ensure an income for the household, the ability to coordinate time and activities is limited. In addition, everyday activities are often located in multiple places; mobility is therefore at the core of daily organization. Analyzing daily mobility allows us to understand how activities are articulated, taking into account a spatial dimension. As single parenthood is predominantly a women’s issue, which is often attributed to systematic inequalities between women and men, a gendered approach based on feminist theories could be appropriate. In this paper, I will examine the differences in the time-use capacities of single mothers according to the urban characteristics of their place of residence, as well as the strategies they use to travel. The analyses are based on a corpus of 31 semi-structured interviews (fall 2020 - spring 2021) conducted with single mothers from diverse areas in the Paris region. I will compare the daily practices of single mothers living in dense areas with good services and amenities with those of mothers living in less well-equipped suburban areas where the car is practically essential. The different strategies, such as optimizing the time spent in mobility spaces or seeking for interpersonal solidarity in the local context, will then be developed. This example of single mothers that need to juggle different activities in the time and the space could contribute to understand the interactions of gender-related inequalities and mobility.
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Dates and versions

hal-03939386 , version 1 (14-01-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-03939386 , version 1


Gonçal Cerdà Beneito. Single mothers’ coordination of time and space in the Paris region: Analyzing daily mobility to understand a gender issue. T2M 20th annual conference “Mobilities: disruptions and reconnections", T2M, Sep 2022, Padova, Italy. ⟨hal-03939386⟩
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