The Culture of Speed: The Coming of Immediacy


John Tomlinson

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  • Theory, Culture & Society

    Theory, Culture & Society caters for the resurgence of interest in culture within contemporary social science and the humanities. Building on the heritage of classical social theory, the book series examines ways in which this tradition has been reshaped by a new generation of theorists. It also publishes theoretically informed analyses of everyday life, popular culture, and new intellectual movements.

    EDITOR: Mike Featherstone, Nottingham Trent University


    Roy Boyne, University of Durham

    Mike Hepworth, University of Aberdeen

    Scott Lash, Goldsmiths College, University of London

    Roland Robertson, University of Aberdeen

    Bryan S. Turner, University of Singapore


    The Theory, Culture & Society book series, the journals Theory, Culture & Society and Body & Society, and related conference, seminar and postgraduate programmes operate from the TCS Centre at Nottingham Trent University. For further details of the TCS Centre's activities please contact:

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    Recent volumes include:

    Informalization: Manners and Emotions Since 1890

    Cas Wouters

    Advertising in Modern and Postmodern Times

    Pamela Odih

    Phenomenological Sociology

    Harvie Ferguson

    The Dressed Society: Clothing, the Body and Some Meanings of the World

    Peter Corrigan

    Consumer Culture and Postmodernism

    Mike Featherstone


    View Copyright Page


    For Xian Tao


    Now let us sport us while we may,

    And now, like amorous birds of prey,

    Rather at once our time devour

    Than languish in his slow-chapt power.

    Let us roll all our strength and all

    Our sweetness up into one ball,

    And tear our pleasures with rough strife

    Through the iron gates of life:

    Thus, though we cannot make our sun

    Stand still, yet we will make him run.

    Andrew Marvell To His Coy Mistress


    For a book about speed this one was slow in the making. Chris Rojek first encouraged me to address these issues in 2001 and I am deeply grateful to him for this and for all his subsequent support, first as a colleague and then, along with Mila Steele at Sage, as an editor. Thanks are also due to my colleagues in the Institute for Cultural Analysis, Nottingham. Roger Bromley in particular, for relieving me of many administrative tasks at a key point in the writing and for being a fixed point of intellectual and moral support, Dave Woods and Joost van Loon for many stimulating discussions, and everyone else for making Nottingham Trent University such a convivial place in which to work. Many other people gave me encouragement and suggestions along the way, inter alia, David Morley Carsten Winter, Hilary Strassburger and Andreas Hepp. I am most of all indebted, for their incisive and generous comments, to Ulrich Beck and David Frisby both of whom were kind enough to read the manuscript. Finally, of course, to Zhang Tao, who slowed me down and speeded me up in more or less equal proportions.

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