This article explores the concept of time among combat reservists in the Israel Defense Forces. Most ethnographic studies of temporality tend to focus on how time’s passage is measured or ‘reckoned’ within varying cultural contexts. In contrast, this article looks to the more corporeal and embodied aspects of the human experience of time. It argues that within Israeli military contexts time is experienced as a near material-like substance that imposes itself – in a very physical way – upon the bodies of combat soldiers. In this sense, the ‘military timescape’ is experienced as a sort of malleable substance that the physical donning of a military uniform can transcend, alter, and refract. A detailed ethnographic exploration of time’s corporeal dimensions offers anthropologists a temporal, as opposed to a spatial, paradigm for engaging with some of the unique sociocultural phenomena of militarism and of military reserve service more specifically.
- Israel defense forces
- military timescape
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)