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Global Capitalism and the Critique of Real Time

[journal article]

Hope, Wayne

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Abstract Digital technologies globally interlink finance, production, consumption, mass communication, and cyberculture. The processes of interlinkage generate the sense that time is accelerating towards instantaneity. Promoters and critical observers of such developments have created a proliferating discourse of ‘real time’. This key phrase and its associated terminology covers a diversity of referent spaces (e.g. cyberculture, financial flows, supply-chain management, on-line selling, live media events). In the context of global capitalism, discursive constructions of ‘real time’ are interrelated with new temporal constructions of systemic power. The nature of this interrelationship is obscured by the ideological features of ‘real time’ terminology. Here, this argument will be developed with references to popular business literature and (supposedly) critical academic writings. I conclude with a set of preliminary requirements for an effective critique of ‘real time’.
Classification Sociology
Free Keywords global capitalism; globalization; internet time; network time; real time; timeless time;
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 275-302
Journal Time & Society, 15 (2006) 2-3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)