Rethinking Time’s Arrow: Bergson, Deleuze and the Anthropology of Time

Hodges, Matt (2008) Rethinking Time’s Arrow: Bergson, Deleuze and the Anthropology of Time. Anthropological Theory, 8 (4). pp. 399-429. ISSN 1463-4996. (Full text available)

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Since the early 1970s, time has come to the fore as a constitutive element of social analysis in the guise of what I term here 'fluid time'. Anthropologists of multiple theoretical persuasions now take for granted that social life exists in 'time', 'flow', or 'flux', and this temporal ontology is commonly accepted as a universal, if habitually unquestioned, attribute of human experience. Similarly, it underpins today's dominant paradigm of 'processual' analysis, in its many forms. Yet this concept is notably under-theorized, in keeping with a history of uneven study by social scientists of time. In this article I draw on anthropological approaches by Gell and Munn, and philosophical work by Bergson and Deleuze, to put forward a critical theorization. I then discuss its ramifications. Ultimately, I argue that this model points to a rapprochement between the anthropological study of time and history, sociality and temporality, and an enhanced role for temporal analysis in anthropological theory.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Matthew Hodges
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 16:49
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2015 09:47
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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