The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week

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University of Chicago Press, Mar 15, 1989 - History - 206 pages
"Days, months, and years were given to us by nature, but we invented the week for ourselves. There is nothing inevitable about a seven-day cycle, or about any other kind of week; it represents an arbitrary rhythm imposed on our activities, unrelated to anything in the natural order. But where the week exists—and there have been many cultures where it doesn't—it is so deeply embedded in our experience that we hardly ever question its rightness, or think of it as an artificial convention; for most of us it is a matter of 'second nature.'
 

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Contents

chapter two The SevenDay Wars
27
chapter three Cultural Variations on a Theme
44
chapter four The Harmonics of Timekeeping
60
chapter five Living with the Week
83
chapter six Experiencing the Week
107
chapter seven Culture Not Nature
130
Bibliography
172
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About the author (1989)

Eviatar Zerubavel is professor of sociology at Rutgers University. His books include Hidden Rhythms: Schedules and Calendars in Social Life and Patterns of Time in Hospital Life: A Sociological Perspective.

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