Essay on The Intrinsic Importance Of Time

Essay on The Intrinsic Importance Of Time

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People check the time throughout the day, every day, making time essential to lives. The intrinsic importance of time is twofold: biologically people have an internal clock to regulate the most basic behaviors like breathing, sleeping, and blinking, and socially, time regulates daily lives like communication, farming, and business keeping. In fact, Eviatar Zerubavel, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, argues that standard time is one of the “most essential” elements of the “social world”; social life is made possible with the ability to relate time (Zerubavel 2). Therefore, any change in the perception of time marks modification in thinking or an alteration to the social fabric. Throughout history perceived time has changed: sundials turned to mechanical clocks, churches telling time turned to individuals telling time, and local time turned to standardized time. The most contemporary of these three examples displayed a radical change in the role of people in society. The shift from local time to Standard Time in 1883 marked the rise of consumerism; industry’s rising need for uniform time, the sun’s decreasing importance for time, the people’s growing demand for modernity displayed a change from a producer community to a consumer society.
Because leading industries demanded uniform time to make their respective fields more efficient, which would benefit the ordinary consumer, the replacement of mean local time with Standard Time marked a new age of consumerism. The transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy, known as the industrial revolution, began a new era of increased productivity and higher standards of living for most. The innovations from the industrial revolution and the necessity to transport r...


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... it depended on the sun less, and people wanted it to mark the modernity of the age, Standard Time marked the new age of consumerism. Standard Time was not mandated into effect by the federal government, but cities and corporations worked together to help its success. In 1918, the federal government enforced Standard Time, thirty-three years after it was first passed, and implemented daylight saving time. They sacrificed normal sunrise times and moved the time one hour forward to increase the amount of sunlight that people got in the day. The government hoped to save coal during the wartime years. The change to daylight savings time, unlike the rise of Standard Time, was forced onto the people and did not come about naturally. Yet, it also marked a change in the social fabric as governments got more power. Thus, times were changing both metaphorically and literally.

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