Time and society: A quadratic theory of time-consciousness

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Warren D. TenHouten


Pari II contrasts ordinary-linear and patterned-cyclical, and immediate-participatory and episodicfulural time. It is linked to an isomorphic model of social relationships_ Hedonic society is based on identity and temporality; agonic community on hierarchy and territoriality. These aspects of social organization are generalized into four social relations: identity into equality-matching, temporality into communal-sharing, hierarchy into authority-ranking, territoriality into market-pricing. Four propositions are framed and examined through ethnographic evidence drawn from Australian Aboriginal and modern, Western culture, that link each kind of social relationship to a kind of time consciousness. Natural and rational time consciousness are seen as results of the unities of equality and community, and of authority and marketpricing and linked to hedonic and agonic sociality.

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