Bryson, Valerie (2004) Time. In: Just Something for the Girls?, Sat 13th-Sun 14th November 2004, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Time has recently been described as ‘feminism’s latent concept’1. It might also be seen as the latent concept of political theory as a whole – always present, often assumed, seldom theorised. Even Marx, who placed the economics of time at the heart of his analysis of capitalism, did not produce an explicit theory of time. However, there is now a significant body of theory and critical debate within the social sciences around the meaning and social construction of time, with which some political theorists have engaged. Feminists have contributed to this work in a number of ways. This paper focuses on inter-connected issues around alleged differences between ‘male’ and ‘female’ time, the difficulty of measuring and valuing caring work, time as a resource for citizenship and time in a patriarchal society. It finds that although feminists are having an impact on theoretical understanding, empirical research and ‘real world’ politics, these change only under pressure, and remain largely framed by male experiences, perceptions and priorities.

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