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Embodying Modern Times

[journal article]

Widerberg, Karin

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Abstract We argue that the way time is organized affects bodily habits and emotions. Drawing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative studies from my large-scale research project with Ulla-Britt Lilleaas, ‘The Sociality of Tiredness: The Handling of Tiredness in a Gender, Generation and Class Perspective’ (presented in Lilleaas and Widerberg, 2001), we focus on class and gender aspects of bodily habits and customs generated in work life and family life (and in the combination of the two). In this article, I illustrate variations in the type of time and body habits that different work organizations and professions generate. I also stress similarities in the use of time and body across professions and gender to illuminate the driving forces of modernity. It is argued that a ‘sped-up life’ and a ‘life of doing’ at work and at home generate a restless body, and irritation (the emotion of late modernity?) as its emotional expression. Finally, the question is raised whether this development is not only a threat to the body, but also to the very heart of democracy.
Keywords gender
Free Keywords class; embodied time; modernity; work;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 105-120
Journal Time & Society, 15 (2006) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)