The Time of Reading. A Reconstruction of Aestheticized Proper Times, and How We Direct Time While (Acoustically) Appropriating It

Miklas Schulz


Time never occurs on its own, it is a relational construct. Time is always time of and in relation to something. It is therefore important to track down its constitutive contexts of reference. The article uses interview material to illustrate how questions of time can be empirically assessed, and how subjective time experience can be captured reconstructively. This is exemplified via language-bound (audio-) text appropriation. In contrast to reading text, the audiobook has its own quality of time structure. Time required for its appropriation is predetermined, can hardly be accelerated and requires devotion to its own time. On this basis, an aestheticized proper "time" can arise in the case of delightful devotion (submission of one’s agency). Through the agency analysis demonstrated here, insight can be gained as to how people set themselves into a relationship with specific orders of time (internal and external) of (audio-)texts via appropriation practices, or how they produce temporalities within a media dispositif. Such aestheticized proper times can at times serve as an important function for everyday coping.


reconstructive interview research; agency analysis; practice theory-informed sociology of senses; aestheticized proper time


Copyright (c) 2020 Miklas Schulz

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