Volume 7, 2015
To Wait and Let Wait
Reflections on the Social Imposition of Time
This paper presents an attempt to conceptualize in a phenomenological way a specific form of social interaction which is familiar to us all from everyday life: the interaction in which one person lets another person wait. Special emphasis is hereby laid on the aspect of power. To keep somebody waiting means to impose one’s time on him/her, and so the study of the waiting-interaction promises some insight into the basic mechanisms of social imposition and thus of exercising power. The concepts used for this analysis are primarily adopted from Alfred Schutz’s classic opus The Phenomenology of the Social World.