The Textures of Time

Agency and Temporal Experience

Michael G. Flaherty
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0263-9
Publication: Nov 10

HC: $76.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0262-2
Publication: Nov 10

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0264-6

192 pages
6 x 9
2 tables

A thoughtful exploration of time and how we make it do our bidding

Read Chapter 1 (pdf).


What do we mean when we say, “I made the time pass more quickly,” or, “I’m creating some ‘me’ time”? In The Textures of Time, Michael Flaherty examines how we alter or customize our experience of time. His detailed analysis reveals different strategies we use to try to manipulate time, further describing and defining those strategies within six discrete time categories: Duration, Frequency, Sequence, Timing, Allocation, and Taking Time. Using in-depth interviews and analyzing responses through a sociological lens, Flaherty unearths folk theories and practices, which he calls “time work,” that construct circumstances in order to provoke desired forms of temporal experience. As such, time is not justinflicted on us; rather, its various textures result from our intervention, and/or from our efforts to create different forms of temporal experience. These first-person accounts also highlight ongoing tensions between agency and determinism in social groups. Ultimately, in keeping with his central thesis, Flaherty’s lucid prose make this book a quick read, and the strategies he describes reveal the profound and inventive ways we “manage the clock.”

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1. Making Time 2. Duration 3. Frequency 4. Sequence 5. Timing 6. Allocation 7. Taking Time 8. The Ironies of Temporal Agency Methodological Appendix Notes Index

About the Author(s)

Michael G. Flaherty is Professor of Sociology at Eckerd College. He is the author of A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time.