Power, control and resistance in the timing of health and care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In the modern period, time has been commodified and can be bought, sold and bartered. This paper argues that this means that while time may be a tool of power and control, it is also a site for resistance to power. Four case studies are evaluated from this perspective. A day-case surgery unit is examined to identify the routinization of health care, with time as a toot of control. Decisions over discharge from hospital following surgery demonstrate how time may be 'sold' to 'buy' future time. The disruption of routines during surgery suggest how time may be used 'as a means of resisting power, while in residential homes, old people find time on their hands as it is transformed into something which must be filled. It is argued that resistance is not achieved by recourse to 'natural' (as opposed to cultural) time, but by rethinking time creatively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1319
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes


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