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In: Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology, vol. 65, no. 2
Haldis Haukanes

Futures full of promise, futures of despair. Contrasting temporalities in the life narrative of young Czechs

Details:

Year, pages: 2017, 120 - 134
Keywords: youth, the Czech Republic, temporalities, narratives, future, nostalgia
Article type: 2. articles / 2. articles

About article:

On the backdrop of increasing anxieties about the state of the world and its future found among by scholars and grassroots alike, this article explores young people’s narratives of the future, paying particular attention to dominant temporal structures through which the young people frame their expectations and imagine their lives to come. The article builds on research with young Czechs in three different regions of the country, carried out in the years 2007–2009 and 2014–2016. In addition it incorporates elements from my former work on post-socialist transformations in rural Czech Republic. Drawing on anthropological debates about time, agency and social change, and on recent scholarship on nostalgia, I argue for the necessity of a diversified understanding of temporality when analysing narrations of both lived lives and future visions; linear and reproductive temporalities appear to co-exist with conceptions of time as accelerated, incoherent and unpredictable. Further, I argue that time or temporality is not just something which people are subject to; it also involves agency. This implies that well-established temporal frameworks can be used to narrate expectations for the future, or that different temporal frameworks can be strategically combined to manage both the present and the future.

On the backdrop of increasing anxieties about the state of the world and its future found among by scholars and grassroots alike, this article explores young people’s narratives of the future, paying particular attention to dominant temporal structures through which the young people frame their expectations and imagine their lives to come. The article builds on research with young Czechs in three different regions of the country, carried out in the years 2007–2009 and 2014–2016. In addition it incorporates elements from my former work on post-socialist transformations in rural Czech Republic. Drawing on anthropological debates about time, agency and social change, and on recent scholarship on nostalgia, I argue for the necessity of a diversified understanding of temporality when analysing narrations of both lived lives and future visions; linear and reproductive temporalities appear to co-exist with conceptions of time as accelerated, incoherent and unpredictable. Further, I argue that time or temporality is not just something which people are subject to; it also involves agency. This implies that well-established temporal frameworks can be used to narrate expectations for the future, or that different temporal frameworks can be strategically combined to manage both the present and the future.

How to cite:

ISO 690:
Haukanes, H. 2017. Futures full of promise, futures of despair. Contrasting temporalities in the life narrative of young Czechs. In Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology, vol. 65, no.2, pp. 120-134. 1339-9357.

APA:
Haukanes, H. (2017). Futures full of promise, futures of despair. Contrasting temporalities in the life narrative of young Czechs. Slovenský národopis / Slovak Ethnology, 65(2), 120-134. 1339-9357.