White Time: How Racial Imagination, Perception, and Context shape Understandings of Time
Matthew W. Hughey
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut
Time and its perception, experience, and organization (temporality) are understood as highly variable. While recent insights in social science reveal that different social groups (such as gendered and racialized groups) are subject to different temporal constraints and hold varied perceptions of time, there remain at least three major empirical and theoretical gaps in extant knowledge. First, there is less understanding of how temporal understandings help to construct a sense of membership, belonging, and group identity. Second and conversely, we know little about how participation in dominant social groups (such as whiteness) shapes the experiences, perceptions, and interpretations of time. Third, we know less about how variations in the group homogeneity or heterogeneity of these contexts and interactions serve as a mechanism for group-level perceptions of time. In this talk, I address these issues through an analysis of data culled from four all-white organizations (inclusive of ethnographic field observations, interviews [N=149], content analysis, and experimental vignette audit studies [N=8]).