Time: Histories and Ethnologies

Time: Histories and Ethnologies

English | 1995 | ISBN: 0472065793, 047209579X | 320 Pages | PDF | 20,2 MB

Time is the subject of several rather different conversations. Some of them, such as that of the cosmologists and theoretical physicists, are nearly impenetrable to nonspecialists; others have an easy popular appeal. In this volume, editors Diane Owen Hughes and Thomas R. Trautmann collect nine essays on the related but distinct conversation about time that takes place at the intersection of history and ethnology.

From the standpoint of Enlightenment reason, time should be a universal and uniform category of understanding. Yet in fact, this category is understood in different cultures in extremely diverse ways. The historians and anthropologists who contribute to this volume address this problem not in the abstract and the general but in contexts that are determinate and highly particular. Individual essays address the sense of time in a wide range of historical and present cultures, from the Yucatan to the Iparakuyo Maasai. Their discussion of whether nonuniform time is to be understood as socially constructed or as determined by relations of production, as the mystification of privilege or as cultural design, differs from philosophical discussions of time in that the real-world standard to which it submits itself is always culturally plural.

Diane Owen Hughes is Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan. Thomas R. Trautmann is Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History, University of Michigan.

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