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Beyond temporality : notes on the anthropology of time from a shrinking fieldsite.

Ringel, Felix (2016) 'Beyond temporality : notes on the anthropology of time from a shrinking fieldsite.', Anthropological theory., 16 (4). pp. 390-412.


With the help of ethnographic material from Germany’s fastest shrinking city, I critically engage in this paper with the term ‘temporality’. By bringing together recent insights from the anthropology of time and the future, the literature on post-socialism, and contemporary philosophical debates on the problem of presentism, I pursue a thorough re-conceptualization of time as a matter of knowledge practices. I thereby question the idea of temporality as an inherent quality of anthropology’s objects of inquiry. Beyond temporality, I urge for abandoning such temporal attributions altogether whilst scrutinizing the temporal underpinnings of our own theories and analytics, as manifested in the term post-socialism. I claim that if anthropologists, and other social scientists, want to avoid determinists’ fallacies they should acknowledge that there is, indeed, no need for temporality in their analyses.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:Ringel, F. (2016). Beyond temporality: Notes on the anthropology of time from a shrinking fieldsite. Anthropological Theory, 16(4), 390–412. Copyright © 2016 Sage.
Date accepted:27 June 2016
Date deposited:21 June 2019
Date of first online publication:14 December 2016
Date first made open access:21 June 2019

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