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Doubt, Conflict, Mediation: The Anthropology of Modern Time

ISBN: 978-1-118-90387-2
196 pages
May 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
Doubt, Conflict, Mediation: The Anthropology of Modern Time (1118903870) cover image


Doubt, Conflict, Mediation is an interdisciplinary examination and reassessment of standard assumptions in social theory about modern time.

  • Rethinks capitalist and neo-liberal conceptions of time from both a sociological and anthropological perspective
  • Blends innovative and rich ethnographic studies from around the world with clear theoretical approaches
  • Examines the timescapes of a variety of institutions and social movements, such as biotech laboratories, civic organizations, planning offices, global sea-trade, urban squatting, and state bureaucracies
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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors

Introduction: Doubt, conflict, mediation: the anthropology of modern time (Laura Bear)

Economic times

1 Immanent anthropology: a comparative study of ‘process’ in contemporary France (Matt Hodges)

2 Post-industrial times and the unexpected: endurance and sustainability in Germany’s fastest-shrinking city (Fellix Ringel)

3 For labour: Ajeet’s accident and the ethics of technological fixes in time (Laura Bear)

Political times

4 Historical narrative, mundane political time, and revolutionary moments: coexisting temporalities in the lived experience of social movements (Sian Lazar)

5 Rethinking reproductive politics in time, and time in UK reproductive politics: 1978-2008 (Sarah Franklin)

Bureaucratic times

6 The time it takes: temporalities of planning (Simone Abram)

7 The reign of terror of the big cat: bureaucracy and the mediation of social times in the Indian Himalaya (Nayanika Mathur)

8 A wedge of time: futures in the present and presents without futures in Maputo, Mozambique (Morten Nielsen)


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Author Information

Laura Bear is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, UK. For nineteen years, she has carried out archival and ethnographic research in India, especially West Bengal. She is the author of Lines of the Nation: Indian Railway Workers, Bureaucracy and the Intimate Historical Self (2007), the forthcoming Navigating Austerity: State Debt and Speculation on a South Asian River (2014), and the novel The Jadu House (2000). She is a member of the Core Editorial Board for Economy and Society. This volume developed from her leadership (with Professor Stephan Feuchtwang) of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded research network and seminar series ‘Conflicts in Time: Rethinking “Contemporary” Globalization’.

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