This article takes for starting point the results of an empirical research devoted to the comparative analysis of the relationships between working time and way of life in France and Sweden. Two results are important to take into account: the greatest mobilization of the French trade unionism in the negotiation and the strongest valorisation of the family, in Sweden, in order to benefit from non working time. In this contribution, we argue that the cultural theory is not relevant in order to explain these two facts. According to our point of view, an institutional approach is more likely interesting to use. We also explain the results our empirical research by the paradoxical alliance of institutional structures (types of industrial relations, place of the family within the society) and of social changes (evolution of the public action, emergence of a so-called “post-modern” family).
Lallement.M, Socio-Économie du Travail n°22 (Économies et Sociétés, tome XXXVI), août 2002, p.1349-1367.