Are you always working “against the clock?”
Do you prefer to “go with the flow?”
Every society around the world has a unique perception of time — in some, “time is money,” life moves fast, and productivity is given priority over leisure. In others, time has no value beyond the present moment, so you should seize the day and enjoy it!
Cultural orientation to the past, present, or future informs the way a society structures and organizes itself, laying the groundwork for the social rules that individual members follow to maintain order, and the differences between cultures can make our transactions — social, economic, political, and personal — A LOT more complicated.
Bronwen is joined by Elicia and Rayan, a married couple from two very different cultures, to examine how the rules of human interaction are impacted by these cross-cultural conundrums of time.
(Part one of two!)
Key Points From This Episode:
- How time is perceived differently in every culture around the world.
- What social rules are and how they are constructed in any given culture.
- What “primary socialization” is and why it is important in our maturation.
- Bronwen attempts to conceptualize the abstract notion of time, but leaves the physics to the pros.
- There is no global standard for what constitutes a week!
- The differences between the three major time orientation: past, present, and future.
- The Piraha tribe and how certain native tribes don’t even have a past tense in their language.
- How America’s individualism impacts the collective use of time, with attention to how the comparative lack of social protection encourages hustle and bustle.
- How the American dream is the perfect example of the future-orientation to time.
- Why France is able to relax and “chill’ without worrying as much about the future.
- Why transactions across cultures are made difficult
- The differences between polychronic and monochronic time systems and the people who utilize them.
- The infrastructure of America and how it reflects the need to prioritize productivity.
- How the industrial revolution synchronized American culture and turned time into a precious commodity.
- Eli shares how the American culture and orientation toward productivity caused a lot of stress and anxiety.
- The art of conversation in France.
- What the differences are between “clock” and “social” time.
- Opposing perceptions (and moral implications) of “idle time” in France and America.
- How Sundays in France are sacred, plus how that strengthens the family.
- What is really meant by “time is money,” and how it is damaging to our psyche.
- The differences between work and leisure balance in America.
- What the implications of “the right to disconnect” are in French culture and how it wouldn’t fly in America.
- How French legislation works to protect the private life while also promoting worker efficiency.
- What the relative importance of punctuality is in France and America.