WP170 Chronotopic identities.

Collection: Key word


Bakhtin coined the term ?chronotope?? to point towards the inseparability of time and space in human social action and the effects of this inseparability on social action (Bakhtin 1981: 84-258).? Bourdieu and Passeron provided us with one of the most precise empirical descriptions, and in a more contemporary and applied vocabulary, we would say that chronotopes invoke orders of indexicality valid in a specific timespace frame (cf. Blommaert 2005: 73).? This paper elaborates on the idea that we can see and describe much of what we observe as contemporary identity work as being chronotopically organized; it is organized in, or at least with reference to, specific timespace configurations which are nonrandom and compelling as ?contexts?, and a shorthand term such as ?chronotope? enables us to avoid an analytical separation of behavior and context which is not matched by the experiences of people engaged in such activities. The actual practices performed in our identity work often demand specific timespace conditions, and a change in timespace arrangements triggers a complex and massive change in roles, discourses, modes of interaction, dress, codes of conduct and criteria for judgment of appropriate versus inappropriate behavior, and so forth.