08. Impact of societal norms on sleep

Salvador Cardús.
Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain


Impact of societal routines on sleep. The case of catalan Hourly Reform


It is obvious that every social organization determines the sleep habits of a particular society. Different countries, social classes, age or gender groups have different time structures, in close relation with their power within the social order. However, there is seldom aware of this relationship between time routines and a concrete social, economic and political status quo. Timetables are experienced as an expression of a fatality; they are not subject to critical reflection and, therefore, are not perceived as an instrument of submission or change. That is why the hour routines act as a factor of unconscious resistance to the positive change of the personal and social conditions of life.

This was the starting point that in 2013 allowed the convergence of fifteen expert professionals in various fields –medicine, schooling, labor, entrepreneurship, health policies…- of the time organization. They meet to propose a time reform that allowed a critical reflection, an awareness raising and, finally, the change necessary to improve personal, but also organizational, conditions of Catalan society as a whole. Through an initiative initially not institutionalized dependence, a work plan was established that contemplated three phases: a) a scientific foundation; b) an awareness raising and c) a reform plan.

In a short space of time, the involvement of the Parliament and the Government of Catalonia was achieved, which allowed the elaboration of several reports that formed the basis of the situation in the public agenda of the timetable debate. In July 2015, the Government of Catalonia turned that initial team into Advisory Council for Hourly Reform. Pilot tests were promoted in various organizations, the commitment of local governments was sought and hundreds of meetings were held with the agents involved in a future hourly reform. Finally, after a long work of social consensus, in July 2017 the National Pact for the Time Reform was signed with final recommendations to promote the Hourly Reform that the Government promised to achieve in the 2025 horizon.

Salvador Cardús i Ros (1954), PhD in Economics. Currently Professor of Epistemology and Sociology of Communication at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Invited as a Research Visiting at Cambridge University, Cornell University and Queen Mary College, London. Former Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology. He specializes in sociology of religion, immigration and identity and time organization, as a member of ISOR (Investigacions en Sociologia de la Religió, www.isor.cat).

Recently he works shaping a new paradigm to approach to the study of contemporary identity processes in order to understand the new challenges in a global and at same time fragmented societies. Usually, identity has been understood as a way to express what you are related to the others. But Cardus complete this idea understanding identity as a process to negotiate recognition but in order to avoid difficulties of self-definition. In other words, identity is a matter of making up, to hide, to naturalize as well to show.

He has published among others: Plegar de viure with Joan Estruch (1981), Saber el temps (1985), La mirada del sociólogo (2003), El desconcert de l’educació (2000), and El camí de la independència (2010) most of which in Catalan and Spanish editions. Professor Cardus is a regular contributor to the Barcelona daily press and a recognized lecturer in Catalonia and abroad. Member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (the Catalan Academy of Arts), he was member of the Council Adviser for the National Transition and currently member of the Council Adviser for the Time Reform both of Catalan Government.

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