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A moment's notice : time politics across cultures

Author: Carol J Greenhouse
Publisher: Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Focusing on the problem of time - the paradox of time's apparent universality and cultural relativity - Carol J. Greenhouse develops an original ethnographic account of our present moment, the much-heralded postmodern condition, which is at the same time a reflexive analysis of ethnography itself. She argues that time is about agency and accountability, and that representations of time are used by institutions of  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Greenhouse, Carol J., 1950-
Moment's notice.
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1996
(OCoLC)605118014
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Carol J Greenhouse
ISBN: 0801430615 9780801430619 0801482283 9780801482281
OCLC Number: 34046322
Description: xv, 315 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Time, Life, and Society --
2. Relative Time and the Limits of Law --
3. Agency and Authority --
4. Time and Territory in Ancient China --
5. Time and Sovereignty in Aztec Mexico --
6. Time, Life, and Law in the United States --
Conclusion: Postmodernity This Time.
Responsibility: Carol J. Greenhouse.

Abstract:

Focusing on the problem of time - the paradox of time's apparent universality and cultural relativity - Carol J. Greenhouse develops an original ethnographic account of our present moment, the much-heralded postmodern condition, which is at the same time a reflexive analysis of ethnography itself. She argues that time is about agency and accountability, and that representations of time are used by institutions of law, politics, and scholarship to selectively refashion popular ideas of agency into paradigms of institutional legitimacy. A Moment's Notice suggest that the problem of time in theory is the corollary of problems of power in practice. Greenhouse develops her theory in examinations of three moments of cultural and political crisis: the resistance of the Aztecs against Cortes, the consolidation of China's First Empire, and the recent partisan political contests over Supreme Court nominees in the United States. In each of these cases, temporal innovation is integral to political improvisation, as traditions of sovereignty confront new cultural challenges. These cases return the discussion to current issues of inequality, postmodernity, cultural pluralism, and ethnography.

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