Exploring the interconnections between time and community
In everyday life, time most often appears in the form of the clock – abstract, seemingly objective, a ‘natural’ fact of life. However, as anthropologists and sociologists have long noted, time is not a neutral container for social life, but a source of values, concepts and logics that are used to negotiate the complexity of social life.
In drawing out the implications of this, time has come to be recognised as having an important role in social methods of inclusion and exclusion and the production of social norms, as well as in understandings of legitimacy and agency, processes of social change, communal futures and pasts, the experiences of accelerating global networks, the ideal pacing of economic productivity and the contradictions between human and ecological time-frames.
Crucially, insofar as time remains naturalised the broader social work performed by particular mobilisations of time becomes obscured. Thus, in seeking to critically engage with issues such as the changing nature of communities, the potential for more inter-connected communities and the value of communities more generally, we believe it is essential to explore how assumptions about time may be involved.
Given the complicated and wide-ranging role of temporality in some of the most pressing questions about social mechanisms of connectivity, belonging and exclusion we are interested in bringing this variety of approaches into conversation.
The Temporal Belongings project thus aims to provide a space for researchers across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to develop a more coordinated understanding of the interconnections between time and community. We will be providing opportunities to share our research and develop multi-disciplinary collaborations, as well as creating new resources to support the development of this research area.
Read the first instalment of our new Temporal Belongings Interview Series on the time of Community Economies
Full version of the scoping study on time and community now available from Time & Society