Sociologist and writer
Conference : Is it possible to build a sociological analysis of time?
A sociologist, Jean Viard is an associate research director at CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) attached to the CEVIPOF (Centre de recherches politiques de l’Institut de sciences politiques). He holds a master in economy (University of Aix-en-Provence) and a PhD in sociology (École des hautes études en sciences sociales). His expertise is in sociology of time (holidays, 35 working hours per week), space management (land planning, agricultural issues) and politics. Guest speaker, regular press writer, he also works as an adviser for private corporations and territorial agencies. He was columnist at Le Journal du Dimanche, the Polka magazine. He took part in the conception of the “Nouvel Obs-le plus” platform on line. He regularly participates in the Arte 28’ TV program and News. He has published several books, including “Quand la Méditerranée nous submerge” (2017) “Chronique française. De Mitterrand à Macron” (2018), “Une société si vivante” (2019) (Aube publisher).
We are immerged in a society of hyper time-consuming: the social supply of things to be done increases faster than the time available for them, which itself accelerates constantly. We may turn on 36 TV programs, read tons of books, take flights to travel everywhere, the internet stress keeps continuously pressuring… But we should keep aware that we never had so much free time available by far. Considering the available time globally, l note that our average life expectancy reaches nowadays 700 000 hours instead of 500 000 hours before 1914 and an estimate of 300 000 hours at the time of Jesus Christ. We gained 10 years since 1945, 20 years since the beginning of the 20th century. From our 700 000 hours some 200 000 hours are dedicated to sleep, 30 000 hours to studies. Taking in account our hours dedicated to sleep, studies and work, we still enjoy 400 000 hours fro free time. Our society belongs therefore to a long-time base civilization and short working time. The digital society connects autonomous individuals, and catch them in its nets, bombarding them with messages coloured with a sense of urgency. We feel obliged to answer immediately. Having come so far, don’t we should know how to take back control of the situation?