Centre for Rural Research Annual Review 2004 - College of Social ...

socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk

Centre for Rural Research Annual Review 2004 - College of Social ...

paid job (58 year old woman, in paid work, living with retired husband). Anotherstated:I would like to get involved in voluntary work but with a full time job,large house and garden, family constraints [the respondent indicatedthat she cares for a sick / elderly relative], I do not have any sparetime (56 year old woman, in paid work, living with husband).The interviews with women sheds more light on the relationship betweenwomen’s paid employment and their unpaid work in the community, as well astheir wider participation in community life through, for example, their leisureactivities. There was a sense that an increase in paid work was definitely havinga detrimental impact on voluntary work. Violet, who lives in Churchinford,claims that she is happy with her level of involvement in village events at themoment, insisting that she does not have time to contribute more to the villagebecause of her work commitments and leisure interests. If she did have moretime she claims that she would consider attending a keep fit or yoga club in thevillage.Meanwhile, Gabrielle, is a single woman and does not take part in anything inthe village. She says that she possibly would if she worked part-time or simplyhad more time to dedicate to such activities. She described how she tends to goto Taunton to take part in social activities, although sometimes goes toWellington (to the gym) or Honiton (for swimming). She claims that shesocializes with her work colleagues in Taunton because this is where they liveand it is easier for her to go to them. She sometimes uses the village pub butclaims that she would not go there for a drink on her own as she prefers to open abottle a wine and watch the television at home. Dorothy laments the lack of acommunity spirit in Staple Fitzpaine. She thinks that most people who live therework in Taunton as nurses, shop assistants and / or office workers, and that thisdictates their friendship circles. Her observation is that the women who live thereare very busy and hence do not have the time to ‘join in’. She also imagines thatwhen these women get home they want to stay at home - their home is theirsanctuary (as indeed Gabrielle’s experience suggests):Most women have to work these days, or perhaps they want to workand nobody seems to know any one, not like years ago which is ashame again you know ‘cos having lived on a farm and you knew allyour neighbours and would help each other out you know if yourtractor didn’t work they would lend you their tractor, etc, etc …everyone is always stopping me and asking me where does so and solive and I think I don’t know and sometimes it’s a person just here.13

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