- Jul 2018
I have written elsewhere that time “is a collective noun” (Bluedorn 2000e, p. 118). That pithy statement summed up the belief that there is more than one kind of time. For example, Paul Davies thought long and hard about time, especially as it is conceptualized in the physical sciences. Yet despite those labors, he felt time’s mystery still: “It is easy to conclude that something vital remains missing, some extra quality to time left out of the equations, or that there is more than one sort of time” (Davies’ emphasis; 1995, p. 17). So in the physical sciences just as in the social, the possibility is explicitly recognized that there may be more than one kind of time.
Good quote for CHI paper.
So the vital point is that all conceptions of time are and always will be social constructions, which is, in Barbara Adam’s words, “the idea that all time is social time” (1990, p. 42). After all, all human knowledge, including scientific knowledge, is socially constructed knowledge. But this point does not ipso facto invalidate any or all concepts of time. Their validity rests, instead, on their utility for various purposes, such as prediction and understanding. And as societies and cultures evolve, it is likely, perhaps even incumbent, for their concepts of time to evolve as well. So it would be well to understand how concepts of time differ in order to understand them and their differences better.
Time is a contested topic. Some believe time is binary, duality, or hierarchical and others (in physics, thermodynamics, metaphysics) propose that time flows in a particular direction.
Again cites Adam re: "all time is social time" and the need "to understand how concepts of time differ in order to understand them and their differences better."
Temporal RealitiesSome theorists have taken the multiple-types approach further and proposed multiple types of time that are arranged in hierarchies. It is interesting to note that these approaches all seem to rely on a hierarchical view of reality itself.
J.T. Fraser's more complex, hierarchical model of nested temporalities includes sociotemporality (time produced by social consensus) at the top.
The multiple, hierarchical views of time are most often rooted in biology and physics. Sociological and sociocultural theories of time embedded in hierarchies don't seem to have caught on. Other than Fraser, I haven't seen these mentioned elsewhere.
Another way of saying this is that there is no imperative to see such categories as mutually exclusive. Neither partner is the true, real, or even preferred time; instead, they may coexist, intermingle, and even be tightly integrated in specific social systems.
Critique of previous categorizations of time as dualities that "may coexist, intermingle and even by tightly integrated in specific social systems."
Cites Adam and Orlikowski/Yates here.
Also notes that clock-based and event-based time do coexist in organizations (Clark 1978, 1985).
a binary classification system exacerbates this tendency, with one choice receiving the imprimatur of “real time” and the alternative being condemned as a “perversion” of it, if it is perceived at all
Critique of previous categorizations of time as binary.