Skip to main content

Life in the fast lane? Towards a sociology of technology and time

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)



Assumptions about the pace of life speeding up abound in contemporary social theory. While many factors are contributing to this phenomenon, information and communication technologies are seen as the main drivers. This article considers the way social theorists analyse the concepts of time and speed and then examines how these claims might be assessed in the light of empirical research. Such research shows that time compression has multiple dimensions, and that the effect of digital devices like the mobile phone is not simply one of acceleration. In particular, I suggest that the social studies of technology offers a richer analysis of the reciprocal relationship between technological innovation and changing time practices. My argument is that while the hitherto neglected temporal dimension in sociological theory is now being addressed, there is an urgent need for increased dialogue to connect social theory with detailed empirical studies. Without this, we will continue to have difficulty distinguishing social science from science fiction.

Keywords: Time scarcity; mobile communication technologies; speed

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2008


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more