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Time as technique

Bear, Laura (2016) Time as technique. Annual Review of Anthropology, 45 (1). pp. 487-502. ISSN 0084-6570

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Identification Number: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-102313-030159


A rapprochement between the anthropology of history and the anthropology of capitalism has created a temporal turn. This temporal turn has generated new theoretical insights into the times of capitalist modernity and vectors of inequality. Yet research has so far been divided into three separate streams of inquiry. Work addresses the techne (techniques), episteme (knowledge), or phronesis (ethics) of time, following traditions in the social sciences derived from Aristotelian categories. This review explores the potential and limits of such distinctions. It also traces contemporary dominant representations and experiences of time such as short-term market cycles, the anticipatory futures of the security state, and precarity. It follows how time-maps are assembled into technologies of imagination with associated material practices. In conclusion, it proposes a new theoretical vista on time for anthropology based on the heuristic of timescapes. From this perspective, the dynamic interrelationships among techniques, knowledge, and ethics of time can be traced and the inequalities generated by conflicts in time become visible.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Annual Reviews
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 13:25
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:26

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