Time for Bourdieu: insights and oversights

Will Atkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
2173 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores the role of time in Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory with a view to highlighting, and plugging, some of its conceptual gaps. It proceeds by identifying four elements of the social structuring of temporal experience: the temporal structure of consciousness; field rhythms and pace; imposed timings; and time binds. The first two of these Bourdieu brought to the fore, even if there are some aspects of his account in need of further development. The third he posited without tracing through the full conceptual consequences, while the fourth requires some reorientation and additional work to accommodate it. The latter I undertake by elaborating on a few concepts drawn from both Bourdieu’s corpus and phenomenology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-970
Number of pages20
JournalTime and Society
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Bourdieu
  • field
  • habitus
  • lifeworld
  • phenomenology


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