I am writing an essay, and want to say that two novels are similar despite being written in different countries and decades. The line is:

"...the two novels, which both make similar critiques of patriarchal oppression despite their different geographic and ___ contexts". (I might change geographic to cultural, but you get the gist.)

I am thinking that "temporal" might be the closest answer, but I wonder if that adequately gets across the meaning of "written in different decades" or if there is a more specific word? Thank you in advance.

  • 3
    Have you considered "historical"?
    – MetaEd
    Commented Apr 1 at 17:51
  • @MetaEd Would that still work when one novel is fairly contemporary (2010s)? To me, "historical" feels like I would be talking about two works from some time in the past. Commented Apr 1 at 17:59
  • 1
    I'd use two words: 'temporal setting'. Or three: 'the period concerned'. Commented Apr 1 at 18:11
  • @Geographic3745 I am with MetaEd: "historical" works. Note that history is always ongoing. Right now, we are living in a particular historical context. History doesn't have to mean "a long time ago". "Temporal" also works, but it feels a little stilted to my ear. Replacing both "geographic" and [whatever] with "cultural" seems to dull the meaning some---it is less specific, as having both differing geographic and historic contexts implies different cultural contexts, but not the reverse. Commented Apr 1 at 18:15
  • It might. Or you could consider "generational" (as in gen X, gen Y, etc); or more generally "social context"
    – MetaEd
    Commented Apr 1 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


I think that "temporal" is the real parallel to "geographic."

But if you want to switch "geographic" to "cultural," you don't need to add in a phrase that specifies anything about time, because anyone who studies cultures is going to be well aware that cultures are always set in a time.

  • Cultural contexts could be at the same time. For instance, we might use it to distinguish between authoritarian and democratic cultures in the 21st century.
    – Barmar
    Commented Apr 1 at 19:50

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