How fixed is fixed? Gendered rigidity of space-time constraints and geographies of everyday activities

Tim Schwanen, Mei Po Kwan, Fang Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The space-time fixity constraint that binds activities to specific times and places has long been considered an important concept in transportation, feminist and communication geography. However, only few studies to date have directly examined differences in the space-time fixity of everyday activities, and the knowledge of how the context of activity participation affects space-time fixity is even more limited. Using space-time diary data from Columbus (Ohio, USA) and multilevel models, we investigate how variations in fixity levels are associated with activity type, other activity attributes, and the personal, household and geographical background of the person pursuing the activity. We consider whether these associations differ between men and women to understand better how space-time constraints operate differently in the everyday lives of men and women. The results suggest that context matters: fixity levels depend not just on activity type but also on when, where, for how long, with whom an activity is conducted, as well as on the background of the person initiating the activity, and some of these effects differ systematically between men and women. Implications of the findings for academic research and public policies are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2109-2121
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Columbus
  • Everyday life
  • Gender
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Space-time constraints
  • Time-geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'How fixed is fixed? Gendered rigidity of space-time constraints and geographies of everyday activities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this