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Women doing and making time: reclaiming time

Wahidin, Azrini
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  • Women -- Time Management
  • Women -- Education (Higher) -- Social Aspects
  • Women Prisoners -- Social Aspects
  • H - Social Sciences
  • Education


This article discusses themes emerging from two independent research projects. In order to understand how women negotiate and transgress time frames, we critically explore and make visible the strategies used by two very different groups, who are placed in different locales and time orderings. The first group are women in later life and in prison and the second group, women students in higher education. It is by inserting the words of women into debates on time, agency and space that we are able to make visible the strategies that women harness in order to do, make and reclaim time. Within this article we discuss the different research strategies employed by the authors. First, we look at conceptualisations of time and gender. Then we discuss how these respectively inform our research. Azrini Wahidin discusses the role and meaning of time in relation to how female elders in prison come to understand and simultaneously negotiate coercive time use in prison and the passing of time on the outside. She focuses on how the strictures of disciplinary time and the lack of choice create innovative ways of negotiating and resisting the disciplining of institution time in prison. Dot Moss discusses the everyday practice and experience of women students, who, in contrast, have relative freedom to time-structure their day. She focuses on the ways in which space and time to study are both socially and personally constructed out of other’s time and time for other things (Davies 1990). Common themes arising in relation to the analysis of gender and time are then discussed.

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