- Paperback: 276 pages
- Publisher: Oneworld Publications; New Ed edition (1 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8176495913
- ISBN-13: 978-1851684656
- ASIN: 1851684654
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Geography of Time: On Tempo, Culture And The Pace Of Life: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, or How Every Culture Keeps Time Just a Little Bit Differently Paperback – 1 Mar 2006
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'Packed with interesting observations and information.' - Anthony Storr, Washington Times 'An elegant gem. Levine combines brilliant observations, original field experiments, and wide ranging scholarship to generate an original view.' - Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University
In this engaging and humorous book, eminent social psychologist Roberts Levine explores a dimension of our experience that we take for granted - our experience of time. Taking us on an enchanting tour through the ages and around the world, we travel to Brazil, where to be three hours late is perfectly acceptable, and to Japan, were he finds a sense of the long-term that is unheard of in the West, as well as to remote places in the world where 'nature time', the rhythms of the sun and the seasons, is the only time to live by. From the sundials of ancient Greece to the origins of 'clock time' in the Industrial Revolution, Levine asks, how do we use our time? Are we ruled by the clock? What does this do to our cities, our bodies? Perhaps, he argues, time as a human construct has come to define and constrain cultures, while instead we ought to function 'multitemporally', each of us charting our own geography of time.See all Product description
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On the cultural level, on the human level, of course, it is a very different matter. Not only does the tempo of our lives vary from place to place, and, according to Levine's research, with the size of the community we live in, but the way we think about it does too. We experience time through the way we use it, breaking it down into useful parcels that reflect our needs and priorities, that mirror and even structure our daily lives, and in many cases reflect the natural world and its seasons. This last is what Levine calls "nature time". It goes much further than "milking time", but you'll have to read the book to find out.
Choosing countries and communities that are very different from each other, Levine gives us a round the world trip and an exhilarating read that changes the way you think about time, including your own.
A minor caveat - obviously one could expand on this comparative study exhaustively, but any researcher only has so much time, so I think the author can be forgiven for not going to every corner of the earth, and perhaps focusing a little too much on his home state. But good research and a very accessible and entertaining style make this a book I am happy to recommend. Enjoy, and learn!
People rarely tell you about how time really works. Until I read this book, much of my thinking was very fixated around clock-time. I was aware of cultural differences (being an archaeologist) but my knowledge of how time was perceived was lacking significantly.
This book is just one of those simple, easy-to-read books that tell you so much through anecdotes. There is nothing I recommend more if you're really interested in time. Compared to this, Hawking is just dull. Time is experienced, not a pretty diagram.
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