What is time? How has our relationship to time changed through history and how does time structure our social lives? In this lively introduction, Barbara Adam explores the changing ways in which time has been understood and how this knowledge is embedded in cultural practices. She takes the reader on a journey of discovery that extends from ancient mythology and classical philosophy to the contemporary social world of high--speed computer networks and globalized social relations. The book poses key questions about the nature of time, how it is conceptualized, what it means in practice and how the parameters set by nature have been transcended across the ages by the human quest for time know--how and control. It provides the reader with a good basis for understanding the role of time in contemporary social life. This book assumes no previous knowledge. Through its broad perspective and transdisciplinary approach it provides an accessible and wide--ranging introduction for students and teachers across the social sciences.