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Metropolitan time: Reflections on the millenium, calendars, and Gregorian hegemony

Bernward Joerges

No FS II 00-506, Discussion Papers, Research Group Metropolitan City Studies from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: The official beginning of the new Millennium, bureaucratically correct on January 1, 2001, gives occasion to reconsider the meanings of that divide in time celebrated globally a while ago. A year into the new century, one is still hard put, in our part of the world, to find public utterances that do not in some way evoke the great watershed of 2000. Although the urgency has dwindled, the habit acquired during the decade or so of running up to the Millennium perseveres: everything that has a sense of time - the past, the present, the future -tends to be couched in terms of the great divide. In this discussion paper, a wide range of issues related to the millennial turn as a major phenomenon in (Gregorian) macro-time is addressed, both at the level of chronology as a subject matter in social studies and at the level of chronology as an organizing feature of social studies of science and technology.

Date: 2000
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