The world is getting faster. This sentiment is proclaimed so often that it is taken for granted, rarely questioned or examined by those who celebrate the notion of an accelerated culture or by those who decry it. Sarah Sharma engages with that assumption in this sophisticated critical inquiry into the temporalities of everyday life. Sharma conducted ethnographic research among individuals whose jobs or avocations involve a persistent focus on time: taxi drivers, frequent-flyer business travelers, corporate yoga instructors, devotees of the slow-food and slow-living movements. Based on that research, she develops the concept of "power-chronography" to make visible the entangled and uneven politics of temporality. Focusing on how people's different relationships to labor configures their experience of time, she argues that both "speed-up" and "slow-down" often function as a form of biopolitical social control necessary to contemporary global capitalism.
Sarah Sharma is Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction. Tempo Tantrums: Speed and the Cultural Politics of Time 1 1. Jet-Lag Luxury: The Architecture of Time Maintenance 27 2. Temporal Labor and the Taxicab: Maintaining the Time of Others 55 3. Dharma at the Desk: Recalibrating the Sedentary Worker 81 4. Slow Space: Another Pace and Time 108 Conclusion. Toward a Temporal Public 137 Notes 151 Bibliography 177 Index 187