Cultural conceptions of time do not lie by the side of the road waiting for an ethnographer to wander by and pick them up. Indeed, the idea of the naïve fieldworker walking up to some beleaguered informant and asking, “What are your cultural ideas of time?” is amusing in its absurdity. There is something about time that makes it seem extremely important to understanding how people live, yet it seems an intangible concept.
Since the remit of this project was, above all, to be exploratory, we created a variety of opportunities for us to reflect on methods as the project progressed. We asked for advice from our Project Partners and Advisers and I've summarised their suggestions in the slide below:
But given that we were also aware that there are a wide variety of other methods that have been developed, we were excited to be able to include a Methods Festival for Studying Perceptions of Time, which took place on the 26th of June 2013. Organised by Jen Southern, this event explored the potential of arts, design and technology practices for researching shifting temporal paradigms, as well as a number of different ways that social science methods have been put to use in studying time. The talks from this event are now online and can be accessed here.
Abbott, A. (2001). Time Matters: On Theory and Method. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Birth, K. (2004). "Finding Time: Studying the Concepts of Time Used in Daily life." Field Methods 16(1): 70-84.
Bryson, V. (2008). "Time-Use Studies: a potentially feminist tool?" International Journal of Feminist Politics 10(2): 135-153.
Büscher, M., J. Urry, et al., Eds. (2010). Mobile Methods. Abingdon, Routledge.
Law, J. (2009). After Method: Mess in Social Science Research. Abingdon, Routledge.
McLeod, J. and R. Thomson (2009). Researching Social Change: Qualitative Approaches. London, SAGE.