Culture Question:

What do Americans usually do after work?

(posted: Oct 2009)

I was asked this question in an American Culture class I taught several years ago. I sent the question to many American friends, or people I know who live in the U.S., and some of them sent it to other friends of theirs. Some of the responses are below:

Most Americans finish work at about 4 or 5 in the afternoon.  They have dinner at home or in a restaurant.  They watch television, or they visit with friends, or they go shopping.
K – Minnesota – Midwest U.S.

Eat dinner.  Watch TV.  Read E-mail, browse the web, play games, talk to their families.  For younger and single folks, they may also go out to restaurants, bars, and dancing, though that's more likely on weekends.  The religious folk go to their houses of worship.  Seriously.
F –Boston – New England

Make dinner, take care of the household chores, run errands, watch TV., read, surf the internet, go to dinner with friends, play card games with friends, go out for drinks etc.
L – Minnesota – Midwest U.S.

Many different things, depending on their hobbies, if they have children or a spouse or not, depending on if they have two jobs or just one.
A – Seattle – West Coast U.S.

Eat dinner, watch TV, and visit with friends and family.
P – Minnesota – Midwest U.S.

They go home to their families, cook dinner, do household chores, watch TV, go on their computers, and do other outside activities. Eventually, they go to bed and fall asleep (at least I do!).
W – U.S.

That varies wildly. Many go home to their families. Many go to a second job. Many hang out in bars. Many sit at their computers and respond to the questions of Chinese students.
D – Minnesota – Midwest U.S.

This American writes poetry, sings, gets on the internet, plays with her children, reads a lot... I think a lot of Americans watch TV and go to bars. Sports are popular among some Americans. I'm not typical.
M – Eastern U.S.

I'll tell you what I do. I have coffee and talk to friends. I listen to the radio (I don't have a TV). I do rock-climbing -- I want to eventually climb a mountain. I visit friends in other towns. I read a lot of books.
K –Midwest U.S.

We (wife and I) walk our dogs, jog, bike, play tennis, really anything that we want ... there is a lot to do ... right now we joined a volleyball league ... we just finished a pottery class and intend on learning to dance.
C –Asian-Canadian living in Oklahoma, Great Plains

I usually ride the bus home. I first feed my pets (a dog and two cats) and make dinner for myself and the woman I live with. After that I might watch some television or a DVD. I will sometimes go to visit friends to play games or otherwise socialize. When the weather is warm I work in my garden.
P – Minnesota – Midwest U.S.

Return to Culture Questions page

   -  top of page -


Friends have dinner together at home


Further Reading:

Living in the USA: Social Life – Social life at American Universities

American Social Life – a chapter of a book, talking about social life and social customs