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Normal Times? (Pluri-) Temporality in Everyday Life in Imperial Germany around 1900


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Rothauge, Caroline:
Normal Times? (Pluri-) Temporality in Everyday Life in Imperial Germany around 1900.
In: German history : the journal of the German History Society. 39 (2021) 2. - S. 222-237.
ISSN 0266-3554 ; 1477-089x


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On an international level, temporal standardization was increasingly discussed in the last third of the nineteenth century, but how exactly it was defined and implemented in everyday life in late Imperial Germany has awaited investigation. This article comprises three examples that show how administrative attempts to denominate and institutionalize certain homogeneous concepts of time were dealt with in Germany on a practical basis around 1900. Drawing on both archival material and printed sources, the first example analyses temporal semantics in the public sphere and explains the boom in ‘normal’ times; the second example looks at how distributing normal time signals became a trade and, thus, a contested service; and the last example focuses on discussions and conflicts around the introduction of unified working times, especially in the industrial firm Siemens & Halske. The findings presented in this article show that, initially, introducing abstract concepts of normal times in different sectors of life paradoxically did not standardize the ways people understood and used time but rather further pluralized them. Thus, the processes of regulating and reforming pluritemporality in Imperial Germany were far from complete by the end of the century. The article offers a perspective on contemporaries as actors involved in a complex plurality of modernization efforts and projects, including temporal (self-)definitions and arrangements. By historicizing ‘time’ proper in late Imperial Germany, it contributes to the temporal turn, since it provides empirical evidence about how today’s standard time regimes emerged.

Weitere Angaben

Sprache des Eintrags:Englisch
Institutionen der Universität:Geschichts- und Gesellschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät > Geschichte > Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte
DOI / URN / ID:10.1093/gerhis/ghab002
Open Access: Freie Zugänglichkeit des Volltexts?:Nein
Verlag:Oxford Univ. Press
Die Zeitschrift ist nachgewiesen in:
Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am: 21. Jun 2021 09:36
Letzte Änderung: 05. Apr 2022 11:49
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