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Social Time: the Heartbeat of Culture

Time Factor

The time difference is a major reason for the versatility in the cultural practices of various communities. Moreover, different perspectives of lateness differ in various communities. Having these differences is the reason for the versatility in the social and corporate world aspects.

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The concept of time is viewed differently by everyone over the whole wide world. Some communities are not controlled by time, while others are. The time factor happens to be an effect of interpersonal relations. No one would appreciate it if people were late for their activities, for example, a wedding. Unfortunately, the issue of punctuality may differ in different communities (Levine and Wolffs 29). Some notions are viewed to be right universally, while in the right sense, they are not. Over the years, people have come to appreciate the fact that there exists a varied perspective on time management. Therefore, countries that have similar ways of time management have been grouped together by the use of statistics to provide individuals with more timelines. For this reason, people get prepared more often and have prompt knowledge of their expectations.

Time Perception in Different Communities

The difference in time perception is the reason as to why it is challenging for people to adapt to countries that have different cultural norms when it comes to time management. Countries with a similar notion of time that includes urgency are Japan and the United States of America. On the other hand, most African countries and countries from other parts of South America do not have high specifications for time.

Statistics show that the pace of life is low in countries such as Indonesia and Taiwan, while Japan and America have a significantly high pace with Japan leading in the list. The high pace of life has been attributed to the economic status of countries (Levine and Wolffs 30). The pace at which the economy grows is directly proportional to the high pace of life. Education and advancement in technology are also great contributors to the high pace of life, which has a time factor.

Differences in Delay of Time

Lateness or delay can be defined as the duration of time taken before accomplishing a set goal. Delay time has impacted communities in a varied way. Brazilians are very comfortable with a delay time or lateness of about 30 minutes. A visiting lecturer of Psychology in Brazil was surprised at how students were comfortable with the lateness of thirty minutes and also left class thirty minutes later after the lesson. Back in his hometown California, he did not mind about looking at his watch to check for the time a lesson ends (Levine and Wolffs 28). He was notified by the reshuffling of books. In America, a minute wasted cannot be recovered easily. Delay in America is placed at 5 minutes.

Other studies have categorized the time differences by use postal efficiency studies, walking speed, and the accuracy of clocks across different cities of various countries. The results of the studies have shown that Japan cities had the most accurate clock setting with a difference of only five minutes early or late. On the other hand, there is a great difference in clock setting accuracy in Brazil, which is at 30 or 50 minutes, an hour or two hours late or early. Moreover, the people of Brazil do not seem to care much about these inaccuracies. This has proven that different counties and cultures have got varying paces of life and hence the economic status.


Time differences cannot be the same universally. The default positioning of the continents is a major reason for the differences in time management. In addition, the versatility in culture forms also contributes to the different views in the time factor. Therefore, for one to integrate into certain countries, it is important to get acquainted with the time and culture of that particular country.

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Work Cited

Levine, Robert and Wolffs, Ellen. “Social Time: Heart Bit of Culture”. Psychology Today 19.1 (1985): 28-30.Print.

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