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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Time-space distanciation

Time-space distanciation is a phrase coined by Anthony Giddens. According to Giddens, social life consists of interactions that are face-to-face or remote. Time-space distanciation describes the process whereby remote interaction has become an increasingly significant feature of human life, and through which social systems that were previously distinctive have become connected and interdependent.

In contrast to pre-modern cultures, "modern time" separates from specific place and acquires a uniformity of measurements across regions through technologies like clocks and calendars. This "empty time" is a prior condition for the "emptying of space," or the separation of space from place. Place becomes increasingly "phantasmagoric," ( a constantly shifting complex succession of things seen or imagined)  influenced by distant or spatially absent social influences. This separation of time and space has brought about time-space distanciation.

Social activity becomes disconnected from the context of presence, and opened up to the possibilities of change by breaking free from the restraints of local habits and practices.

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