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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Times of Disruption: How Covid-19 Challenges the Temporal Order of Economy and Society

Lisa Suckert


 
The coronavirus crisis has not only reconfigured social spaces but also challenges the temporal order governing economy and society. It has changed how people experience, manage, and use time. The project is based on theoretical approaches that consider capitalism as a regime not only of production but also of time. It is shaped by the measurement, commodification, and rationalization of time, by acceleration, and by the appropriation of the future. The pandemic has challenged some of these features: time usually spent on paid labor and consumption is now needed for care work that cannot be commodified; instead of acceleration and growth, it is necessary to slow down and be patient; and the image of a shapeable but foreseeable future is replaced by radical uncertainty. The devastating social and economic consequences of this pandemic can therefore be understood as a disruption of the temporal order of capitalism. The study attempts to systematically reflect upon related challenges from a sociology of time perspective. A subproject, conducted in collaboration with the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), empirically inquires into the temporal refiguration and, based on survey data, particularly depicts how respective disruptions are socially structured. Project duration: May 2020 to December 2021.
 

 
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