Exploring the Fragmentation of Activity Gold Mine: The Influence of ICT Use on Daily Activity Patterns

A popular notion in contemporary social science is that the Internet and other communication and information technologies (ICTs) facilitate the fragmentation of daily activities across times and spaces, thereby blurring the boundaries between the previously separated life domains of work, care and leisure. However, a clear conceptualization of what fragmentation is and how it can be measured empirically has been lacking. As a consequence, hardly any empirical evidence has been provided for these notions. The goal of this paper is twofold: (1) to propose a methodology for measuring activity fragmentation; and (2) to assess temporal fragmentation empirically and consider its associations with ICT usage, gender and residential location. The proposed methodological framework covers three main dimensions of fragmentation: the number of fragments; the distribution of the sizes of fragments; and the spatial and temporal configuration of fragments. To illustrate the framework, we have analyzed three different kinds of activities using existing travel diary data from the Utrecht region, The Netherlands: work; daily shopping; and non-daily shopping. Despite several obvious limitations of the utilized data, the empirical results are insightful and promising: the framework is not only capable of detecting temporal activity fragmentation, it is also sufficiently sophisticated to reveal differing levels of fragmentation between the three dimensions of fragmentation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 23p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01046477
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-1509
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 6:07PM