Universität Erfurt

Max-Weber-Kolleg

Felipe Torres Navarro: Doktorand

Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 900221
99105 Erfurt

  • +49(0)361/737-2842
  • +49(0)361/737-2809

Forschungsprojekt

Modern Regimes of Temporality. A Paradox between Diversification and Homogenization

Humans live and work in different times. The standardized global clock time, both homogeneous and linear, is only one of them. Our lives unfold through a variety of time frames: cyclical and linear, repetitive and cumulative, slow and fast, measured and experienced, short and long. And yet during the last few years, a series of new times have emerged due to globalization, technological innovation, and climate change, e.g. the instantaneity of digital communication, the many time scales of CO2 emissions and temperature rise, and the collapse of the idea of unilinear global progress. To be sure, time has become a field of cultural frictions and political struggles. Hence, it is no wonder that the contemporary emerging plurality of overlapping and intersecting times requires further investigation. Time has become a topic of scholarly interest and investigation across disciplinary borders and is open to dialogue in various fields such as history, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, science and technology studies, philosophy, and even biology in order to understand and explore the conflicts and hierarchies of the “different times” present in modernity.

Within this framework comes the following proposal: a) The lack of dialogue between the two approaches/explanations limits the understanding of time as a paradoxical phenomenon. b) This leads to the need to understand both the homogenization and diversification of modern times. What we gain is an approach to understanding the temporal frictions; and c) This paradox has a privileged place in the observation of the technical/technological development process through which, on the one hand, old spatiotemporal barriers are narrowed homogenizing global society, and, on the other hand, the multicultural encounter allows for a decentralized, pluriverse, multiple experience of time. For the latter, the notion of a temporality regime holds a central place to the extent that it allows us to address the structure of time as homogeneity – as long as the regime indicates the existence of stable conditions – while at the same time enabling the visibility of more than one temporal scheme.

More specifically, the project intends to explore the paradoxical situation of a time that is both homogenized, through the proliferation of global technological mechanisms that tend towards a universal culture, and diversified, through a prototype of global society that encourages cultural exchange, pluralism and cosmopolitanism, giving rise to an infinite number of times that coexist. For the latter consideration, we take as a starting point an assumption that recognizes modernity as an historical moment characterized by the coexistence of divergent and even contradictory cultural flows.

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