Study Guide Won
Do not attack me with
Does a clock refer to time or to its own invention of time!?
Redundant Clock by artist Ji Lee
Oh! Do not attack me with your watch.
A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.
Jane Austen (1775 - 1817), Mansfield Park
Study guidance Won
Midterm, Fall 2011
1.) What is a year? Explain why a year is an arbitrary sign,
the truth of which can serve to anchor and naturalize other
For most the point of view a year is determined by the complete
revolution of a rock (Earth) around a large star (Sun). But who decides
where the circule stars/ends or where to begin counting from? These
decisions have been made by man, who created an impression as if
they were present in nature from the very start, when in fact they are
completely arbitrary and based on particular culture to which he or she
belongs. This is why different cultures tend to have different ideas
about year such as when it starts, ends, how long it lasts and if there
is even a year to begin with. Eg. Chines new year VS. Western view
ANT204, midterm, study guide 1 1 of new years.
There is no universal term for a year based on nature instead it is
based on cultural perceptions of their own nature though which they
try to reify their own ideas and practices.
2.) Discuss personhood and time. Compare, for example, a
person living in an objective, calendrical time versus a person
living in a society with little regard for formal calendars or
clocks. Consider, for example, age of marriage, various rights,
the onset of adulthood, etc.
Those living in a calendrical perception of time may pay more attention
to the future or on history and its recorded events, as compared to
someone living with little regard form time which may focus more on
the present. Certain concepts such as future may not even be
present in a society that does not concern itself with clocks and
colanders so how can they act according this idea that isnt even
there ? the answer is they dont. Things like date of birth, maturity
and age of marriage ect. may not be marked by the number of years or
time a person travelled around a star (Sun) but instead may be based
on that persons mental stage of maturity based on the present. Special
occasions would not marked with definite dates and/time but instead
might be spontaneous as compared to those who do live in a
calendrical perception of time.
3.) Discuss how time can have a dominant inflection. I.e.,
discuss how time itself and ones experience of timecan
seem to be Christian, Catholic, Muslim, agricultural, or
Behaviors are based on the perception and value of time with in
particular societies. Time is based on culture and the culture which is
most dominant tends to control behavior/experience through time. Eg
in Italy Bells are ring on the hour not just any bells bells from the
christen churches which allows those there to know the time and also
gives notice that time is dominated and measured from a Catholics
point of view. Eg. This is also seen in Indonesia where Muslims get
there sence of time from the Iman indicating when it is time for prayer.
Also Eg. Agriculture people may measure there time according to the
amount of sunlight avaible to work or seasons. No matter which society
you can tell that time is measure though the dominant cultural
activates located there. Eg. Toronto capatilist- clocks in every
store/building/streets high sence of time and urgency to know it to
ANT204, midterm, study guide 1 2 increase productivity and capital.
4.) (Delaney, chas. 3 & 4) Delaney discusses metaphors
about time. What is Delaneys point about metaphors
(following Lakoff) and how might metaphors about time in fact
shape our experience of reality?
Delaney was trying to explain that words and thoughts do not describe the
world we live in it produces it though arbitrary signs and meaning. A good
example of this is when Benjamin Franklin said time is money though
which America then became concerned with being a capitalist economy
where time spent not gaining or working towards money was seen as time
wasted. The language we speak influence the way we experience the word.
Lakoff metaphors of war in arguing. The language we use makes it
impossible to talk without metaphors Pg. 150 Metaphors create reality and
through meataphores of time we create time
5.) (Delaney) Contrast a contemporary, digital sense of time:
abstract, linear, mechanical, and progressive, vs. time in a
society that does not peg time to abstractions.
A modern scene of time is usually broken up in to definite and absolute
categories and instead of counting the hours or giving average minutes
todays western society tends to be very precise and even count the
seconds. This is often based on digital watches and the idea that time is
money so there is a great need in capitalist societies to be as efficient as
Advantages to this very detailed and sensitive view of time is that it gives
us a sence of history and spatial positioning it also allows us to set
schedules but most of all it is the main motivator for progress and will to
achieve and continuously grow.
Disadvantage is that it broke time down (in to seconds) to be viewed and
compared to something as materialistic as money. It comidified labor and
if tine wasnt spent making money it was time spent wasting money this
resulted in leisure activates becoming scarce and thus less time being
spent with friends and family.
a. ) See, for example, Evans-Pritchards quote about the
ANT204, midterm, study guide 1 3