Time – health – culture: cultural time concepts and health-related time preferences in Burkina Faso
Berlin: Reimer Verlag 2006
269 pp., Euro 52,-; ISBN 3-496-02785-1
Keywords: time, health and time, culture and time, concepts of time, anthropology of time

## Time is an omnipresent fact of life which seems to be natural and universal, but which also varies cross-culturally. The book demonstrates the usefulness of knowledge on cultural time conceptions for the understanding of local cultures in general (what is important within anthropology) and for health-related issues in particular (what reveals the interdisciplinary relevance of time studies). By comparing the important health-economical concept of "time preference" with local notions and practices pertaining to time in rural Burkina Faso, the transferability of a Western temporal concept to a non-Western - here BurkinabŹ - context is tested and evaluated. The book hence shows the significance of socio-cultural time studies for epistemological as well as applied and interdisciplinary scientific interests.## The author discusses time concepts first (the search for "time universals", time in sociology, the "Western" time concept, the anthropology of time, and studies on African time concepts), and then time conceptions in Burkina Faso. Next, health and illness in Burkina Faso are portrayed, followed by "time preferences" specifically in public health, and generally in Burkina Faso. Finally, time axioms underlying time preferences are discussed, and Wladarsch concludes: "This multifaceted analysis of conceptualisations of time in rural Burkina Faso demonstrated the omnipresence of time in social reality, and proved how helpful the time-perspective is for the comprehensive study of a culture." The appendix presents informants in detail, a list of interview participants, list of villages, pictures, etc.