Migrants and Their Experiences of Time: Edward T. Hall Revisited


  • Elisabeth Schilling Fachhochschule für Polizei und Verwaltung NRW
  • Alexander Kozin Freie Universität Berlin




migration, temporality, culture, experience of the Other, social world


In this paper we reassess the scientific heritage of Edward T. HALL and his contribution to the area of intercultural communication. The key objectives of our study are to demonstrate the applicability of HALL's theory of culture to empirical research and to establish its compatibility with other methods. Specifically, we propose that Alfred SCHÜTZ's phenomenology of sociality be taken as an extension to HALL. The connection between HALL and SCHÜTZ is made possible by the mutual emphases on the temporal dimension of culture and the temporal aspects of migration. With these foci we analyze six narratives by two groups of migrants: German and Russian. By combining HALL's theory of the cultural time with SCHÜTZ's phenomenological perspective on time and the Other and then applying them to empirical data, we show the terms in which different cultures experience time. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901357


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Author Biographies

Elisabeth Schilling, Fachhochschule für Polizei und Verwaltung NRW

Dr. Elisabeth SCHILLING studied sociology, psychology and German linguistics in Moscow, Düsseldorf, Aachen and UC Davis (USA). Her research interests are time, migration, intercultural communication, diversity, and public health. Her current position is Researcher at ISEG (Institute for Research in Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health System) in Hannover.

Alexander Kozin, Freie Universität Berlin

Alexander V. KOZIN (Ph.D. in Philosophy of Communication) is Research Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin. His areas of specialization include phenomenology, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, semiotics, and discourse analysis. His current research centers on the phenomenological investigations of the alien experience in the context of law, visual arts, and literature.




How to Cite

Schilling, E., & Kozin, A. (2009). Migrants and Their Experiences of Time: Edward T. Hall Revisited. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-10.1.1237



Researching Special Themes, Phenomena, and Contexts with Qualitative Approaches