Sociology’s Rhythms: Temporal Dimensions of Knowledge Production

Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 35 (4):499-524 (2013)
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Abstract
From the temporal perspective, this article examines shifts in the productionof sociological knowledge. It identifies two kinds of rhythms of sociology: 1) that of sociological standpoints and techniques of investigation and 2) that of contemporary academic life and culture. The article begins by discussing some of the existing research strategies designed to "chase"high-speed society. Some, predominantly methodological, currents are explored and contrasted with the "slow" instruments of sociological analysis composed of different, yet complementary, modes of inquiry. Against this background, the article stresses that it is through the tension between fast and slow modes of inquiry that sociology reproduces itself. The subsequent part explores the subjective temporal experience in contemporary academia. It is argued that increasing administration and auditing of intellectual work significantly coshapes sociological knowledge production not only by requiring academics to work faster due to an increasing volume of tasks, but also by normalizing time-pressure.The article concludes by considering the problem as to whether the increasing pace of contemporary academic life has detrimental consequences for the more organic reproductive rhythms of sociology.
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