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    The social life of time and methods: studying London’s temporal architectures

    Harris, Ella and Coleman, B. (2020) The social life of time and methods: studying London’s temporal architectures. Time and Society 29 (2), pp. 604-631. ISSN 0961-463X.

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    This paper contributes to work on the social life of time. It focuses on how time is doubled; produced by and productive of the relations and processes it operates through. In particular, it explores the methodological implications of this conception of time for how social scientists may study the doubledness of time. It draws on an allied move within the social sciences to see methods as themselves doubled; as both emerging from and constitutive of the social worlds that they seek to understand. We detail our own very different methodological experiments with studying the social life of time in London, engaging interactive documentary to elucidate nonlinear imaginaries of space-time in London’s pop-up culture (Ella Harris) and encountering time on a series of walks along a particular stretch of road in south east London (Beckie Coleman). While clearly different projects in terms of their content, ambition and scope, in bringing these projects together we show the ability of our methods to grasp and perform from multiple angles and scales what Sharma calls ‘temporal architectures’. Temporal architectures, composed of elements including the built environment, commodities, services, technologies and labour, are infrastructures that enable social rhythms and temporal logics and that can entail a politicized valuing of the time of certain groups over others. We aim to contribute to an expanded and enriched conceptualisation of methods for exploring time, considering what our studies might offer to work on the doubled social life of time and methods, and highlighting in particular their implications for an engagement with a politics of time and temporality.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Ella Harris
    Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 09:13
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:57


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