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Title: Goodin et al.'s New Measure of Freedom: Authors Meet Critic
Contributor(s): Bittman, Michael  (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1007/s11205-010-9651-2
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Abstract: Every now and then a book comes along which boldly proclaims a great advance. 'Discretionary Time: A New Measure of Freedom' (Goodin et al. 2008) sets out to change our thinking about what makes for quality of life. But this is not merely a conceptual treatise, because it proposes a new yardstick and ambitiously attempts to persuade the reader by demonstrating the utility of this yardstick in a sustained concrete analysis. The book's arguments are built around a powerful central idea, namely that the ability to choose how you allocate your time lies at the core of a positive notion of freedom: "When we say that someone 'has more time' than someone else, we do not mean that she has literally a twenty-fifth hour in her day. Rather, we mean to say that she has fewer constraints and more choices in how she can spend her time. She has more 'autonomous control over her time'. 'Temporal autonomy' is a matter of having 'discretionary control' over your time" (Goodin et al. 2008: p4). Linking time to human capabilities is the kind of idea that one might expect to find in the writing of Sen (1985) or perhaps advanced as a key step up Maslow's (1970) ladder of hierarchical needs. This very attractive idea incidentally, gives immense significance to the study of time.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Social Indicators Research, 101(2), p. 185-187
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISSN: 0303-8300
Field of Research (FOR): 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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