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Introduction

Decolonizing Time
  • Nichole Marie Shippen
Part of the Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series (CPTRP)

Abstract

Where the original fight for time was to control the time spent in production by limiting the length of the workday, today’s fight for time must address not only the extension of the workday, but also the colonization of free time and leisure. Commonly or uncritically assumed to be time free from employment/ work, with the exception of feminists’ analyses of the sexual, racial, and global divisions of domestic and reproductive labor, and critical theorists’ criticisms of the culture industry, free time and leisure have increasingly become integral parts of the accumulation process through the combined structural and ideological imperatives not only to work, but also to spend and relax under conditions overdetermined by the profit-driven market. In this manner, capitalism has come to dominate the social meaning, value, and organization of time well beyond the realm of production. As a consequence, it is difficult for people to recognize alternative understandings of time as legitimate or possible, which in turn makes alternative organizations of time seem utopian rather than a political goal to be achieved, especially given the general attack against and subsequent political decline of a “labor-left alliance” starting in the 1980s.1

Keywords

Free Time Labor Movement Radical Politics Culture Industry Democratic Reform 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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    David Harvey uses “accumulation by dispossession” to refer to the historical continuation of what Marx referred to as “primitive accumulation” in Capital. See David Harvey, “A Conversation with David Harvey,” Logos 5, no. 1 (Winter 2006), http://www.logosjournal.com /issue_5.1/harvey.htm.Google Scholar
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    I borrow both concepts from Robert E. Goodin, James Mahmud Rice, Antti Parpo, and Lina Ericksson, Discretionary Time: A New Measure of Freedom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), but develop them through the Marxist tradition.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Juliet B. Schor, Plentitude: The Economics of True Wealth (New York: Penguin Press, 2010) for examples of self-provision at the local level.Google Scholar
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    It should be noted that the fight for time is gendered, but not always in the same manner. Women once fought for time on the basis of their domestic and care-giving responsibilities outside of the workplace. See Dorothy Sue Cobble, The Other Women’s Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Nichole Marie Shippen 2014

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  • Nichole Marie Shippen

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