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Title: Work, time and rhythm : investigating contemporary 'time squeeze'
Author: Ashfold, Thomas Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 8366
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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In contemporary capitalist economies such as the UK, it is commonly held that an increasing number of people and households experience anxiety over time and symptoms of 'time squeeze'. Existing accounts of the character and causes of this phenomenon are rather one-dimensional and lacking in nuance, however. In part, this is because they typically lack any substantial theoretical engagement with the concept of time itself. Accordingly, this research aims to provide a more complex and contextual account of experiences of working time (both paid and unpaid), and to investigate how and why experiences of time squeeze vary between individuals and social groups. This is achieved by calling upon an enriched understanding of time, and employing an instrumental case study built around a set of 50 semi-structured interviews with employees working in Oxford University's central IT department and four of its constituent colleges. The empirical findings reveal that the (quantitative) extent and (qualitative) nature of participants' temporal anxieties vary with occupation, social class, gender, age and family status, as well as the importance of institutional and local context. Furthermore, they demonstrate that contemporary time squeeze is generated by a variety of causal mechanisms relating to the duration, tempo and timing of both paid employment and unpaid reproductive work, and their intersections with the personal, natural, social, institutional and technological rhythms that variously constitute everyday life.
Supervisor: McDowell, Linda ; Schwanen, Tim Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Work-life balance ; Time pressure ; Hours of labor--Great Britain--Case studies ; Time perception ; Work--Sociological aspects