Time Perspectives of the Kabyle

  • Pierre Bourdieu


An old Kabyle once said ‘The French act as if they would never die’. Nothing is more foreign to the indigenous civilisation of Algeria than the attempt to secure a hold over the future, and nothing more strange to it than the idea of an immense and open future as a broad field of innumerable possibilities which man is able to explore and dominate. Is it necessary then to conclude, as one too often does, that the fellah, a sort of mens momentanea, bound up in immediate attachment to the directly perceived present, would be incapable of envisaging a remote future? Is it necessary to see in his attitude of submission to the passage of time a simple abandonment to the hazards of climate, the whims of nature, and the decisions of the divinity? To avoid false problems, perhaps one must analyse only the actual modality of his consciousness of the future. Awareness of time is not simply one of the dimensions of his life experience, but rather the form in terms of which that experience is organised.


Time Perspective Direct Good Perceptive Consciousness Good Harvest Imaginary World 
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Copyright information

© John Hassard 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Bourdieu
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences SocialesParisFrance

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