Time, Consumption and Everyday Life : Practice, Materiality and Culture book cover
1st Edition

Time, Consumption and Everyday Life
Practice, Materiality and Culture

ISBN 9781847883643
Published September 1, 2009 by Routledge
250 Pages

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Book Description

Has material civilization spun out of control, becoming too fast for our own well-being and that of the planet? This book confronts these anxieties and examines the changing rhythms and temporal organization of everyday life. How do people handle hurriedness, burn-out and stress? Are slower forms of consumption viable? This volume brings together international experts from geography, sociology, history, anthropology and philosophy. In case studies covering the United States, Asia and Europe, contributors follow routines and rhythms, their emotional and political dynamics and show how they are anchored in material culture and everyday practice. Running themes of the book are questions of coordination and disruption; cycles and seasons; and the interplay between power and freedom, and between material and natural forces. The result is a volume that brings studies of practice, temporality and material culture together to open up a new intellectual agenda.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures, List of Contributors, Acknowledgements, Introduction, Section I: Time, Space and Practice, 1. Everyday Practice and the Production and Consumption of Time, 2. Timespace and the Organization of Social Life, 3. Re-ordering Temporal Rhythms: Coordinating Daily Practices in the UK in 1937 and 2000, Section II: Pace and Scale: Temporal Order and Disruption, 4. Disruption is Normal: Blackouts, Breakdowns and the Elasticity of Everyday Lif, 5. My Soul for a Seat: Commuting and the Routines of Mobility, 6. Routines Made and Unmade, Section III: Rhythms, Patterns and Temporal Cycles of Consumption, 7. Calendars and Clocks: Cycles of Horticultural Commerce in Nineteenth-Century America, 8. Fads, Fashions and 'Real' Innovations: Novelties and Social Change, 9. The Edge of Agency: Routines, Habits and Volition, Section IV: The Temporalities of Stuff, 10. Buying Time, 11. Seasonal and Commercial Rhythms of Domestic Consumption: A Japanese Case Study, 12. Special and Ordinary Times: Tea in Motion, 13. Making Time: Reciprocal Object Relations and the Self-legitimizing Time of Wooden Boating, 14. The Ethics of Routine: Consciousness, Tedium and Value, Index

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Elizabeth Shove is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. Frank Trentmann is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Richard Wilk is Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Indiana University.


"Every now and then a book appears which can truly be counted as an original. This is one of those books. Each chapter produces a different kind of sparkle but the overall effect is clear: to shine a light into a series of different kinds of social fractures and crevices that make up the use of time, thereby giving the lie to the idea of anything as simple as a notion like routine. The diversity of the book makes it a constant delight to read, the theme will surely be a stimulus to further work. Terrific. - Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick. Co-Author of Times, Spaces and Places and Shaping the Day The book is arranged around a number of case studies from different cultures, including a comparative analysis in the UK between 1937 and 2000 and seasonal and commerical rhythms of domestic consumption in Japan. The reader comes away with a much more subtle understanding of the topic. - The Scientific and Medical Network The book is well presented, a strongly bound paperback, with acceptable price. The content has very strong value as teaching material as well as building further research. - Nancy J. Pollock, Victoria University (New Zealand)"