If Only the French Republicans Had Known This: The Week as a Social Fact
During the French Revolution and inspired by the Enlightenment, an attempt was made to replace the Gregorian calendar (which was based on â€˜irrationalâ€™ overlapping cycles linked to religious celebrations) by the Republican calendar (which was based on â€˜rationalâ€™ clearly nested cycles in accordance with the metric system). Although the starting point was an ideological and aesthetic expression of rationalism, this calendar also had to fulfill a coordinating and integrating function. Thus the calendric reform faced a tremendous challenge: re-creating a socio-temporal order. One of the crucial socio-temporal frameworks that guide daily behavior in Western societies is the 7-day cycle of the week. In the new calendar, the week was to be replaced by the 10-day cycle or the dÃ©cade , which turned out the greatest stumbling block for calendar-reformation. Theoretically this is explained by the social nature of time and the â€˜second natureâ€™ of time reckoning, but the unawareness of a socially established weekly rhythm in our daily behavior is hard to illustrate. Today, however, society is full of traces of so-called â€˜big dataâ€™ that humans leave behind. This paper uses â€˜big dataâ€™ on re-charges of electronic keys to show that even though a 10-day re-charging cycle is proposed, a 7-day re-charging cycle will surface.
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