chapter  5
Dealing with Time
WithGodfried Engbersen, Kees Schuyt, Jaap Timmer, Frans van Waarden, William Julius Wilson
Pages 18

The French sociologist Gurvitch noted the existence of different social times. He drew a distinction between "macro-social time" and "micro-social time." Macro-social time is linked to the major institutional frameworks of a society, such as the labor market, the school system and the leisure time sector. Micro-social time is linked to the time orientation of specific groups and classes. Social time, which is distinguished from biological and physical time, is a relation between meaningful activities. Social time is also the expression of the social rhythm of social groups. This chapter deals specifically with how the unemployed perceive and spend time. A central question is the extent to which the temporal disorientation and boredom due to lengthy unemployment, as documented in the literature on the social-psychological effects of unemployment, still take place today. Without regular employment outside the home, it was difficult for many respondents to introduce an element of regularity in their activities.