Time-Space Distanciation: An Interdisciplinary Account of How Culture Shapes the Implicit and Explicit Psychology of Time and Space

Daniel L Sullivan, Lucas A. Keefer, Sheridan A. Stewart, Roman Palitsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The growing body of research on temporal and spatial experience lacks a comprehensive theoretical approach. Drawing on Giddens' framework, we present time-space distanciation (TSD) as a construct for theorizing the relations between culture, time, and space. TSD in a culture may be understood as the extent to which (1) time and space are abstracted as separate dimensions and (2) activities are extended and organized across time and space. After providing a historical account of its development, we outline a multi-level conceptualization of TSD supported by research on cultural differences in the experience of time and space. We impact this conceptualization by examining two ethnographic case studies. We conclude by highlighting future research directions. TSD is an integrative, interdisciplinary, multi level construct with the potential to guide the burgeoning social science of time and space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
StateAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Cultural psychology
  • Mobility
  • Modernization
  • Space
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy

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