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An in-depth look at urban youth in the Republic of Georgia offering new perspectives on how time and marginality are interlinked

Young Men, Time, and Boredom in the Republic of Georgia

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Martin Demant Frederiksen

"Riveting. Young Men, Time, and Boredom in the Republic of Georgia develops stimulating ideas about temporal disjunctures and marginalization and adds significantly to the literature on post-Soviet states while providing an important study of youth. Frederiksen’s interweaving of ethnographic narrative with ethnological analysis and interpretation is elegant and vivid, and his fresh approach provides new understanding."
Deborah Durham, Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at Sweet Briar College

In the midst of societal optimism, how do young men cope with the loss of a vibrant future? Young Men, Time, and Boredom in the Republic of Georgia provides a vivid exploration of the tension between subjective and societal time and the ways these tensions create experiences of marginality among under- or unemployed young men in the Republic of Georgia.

Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Martin Demant Frederiksen shows how the Georgian state has attempted to make the so-called post-Soviet transition a thing of the past as it creates new ideas about the future. Yet some young men in the regional capital of Batumi do not feel that they are part of the progression these changes create. Instead, they feel marginalized both by space and time—passed over and without prospects.

This distinctive case study provides empirical evidence for a deeper understanding of contemporary societal developments and their effects on individual experiences.

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Excerpt

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).

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Reviews

"Young Men, Time, and Boredom in the Republic of Georgia is a really interesting, gripping, ethnographic narrative about boredom and despair. The innovative theoretical perspectives on ruins, haunting, time, and temporality are all presented with a light touch that never moves far from the reality that inspires them and that they illuminate. Frederiksen generates endless surprises and immense insights: abjection, despair, deprivation, and boredom are not simple things as a simple realist exposition would have them. They are generated at the boundaries of realities and imaginaries, localities and elsewhere—a present that is shot through with the haunting of pasts and futures. This book is fascinating, thought provoking, and illuminating."
Paul Manning, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Trent University

"The author spent approximately a year participating in the lives of 30 underemployed young men.... The author has a keen eye for telling ethnographic details, and liberal use of his graphic field notes makes it clear that he was an accepted and even cherished member of these brotherhoods. Moreover, his evocative photographs of various sites help to transport the reader into post-Soviet Georgia. There are funny scenes in this touching ethnography and a wealth of insight, as well, but the overall tone of these observations is poignant.... From these lives, the author extracts a rich conceptual framework.... The author concludes that his informants experience ‘temporal marginalization’ – an ingenious concept with wide applicability."
Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue
1. Overview

Section I. “IN A QUIET SWAMP, THERE ARE DEVILS WANDERING”: RUINS AND GHOSTS IN BATUMI
Introduction
2. Walking a Ruined City
3. Devils and Brotherhoods
Conclusion: A Period Made Past

Section II. DAILY INTO THE BLUE? YOUNG LIVES BETWEEN LONGING AND ENGAGEMENT
Introduction
4. The White Georgian
5. A Tale of Two Artists
6. Conclusion: “Because of” or “In Order To”?

Section III. THE FUTURE HAUNTING THE PRESENT
Introduction
6. Subjunctive Moods and Imperative Reminders
7. Subjunctive Materialities
Conclusion: Horizons in Motion

Section IV. APPARITIONS
Introduction
8. Social Afterlives and the Creation of Temporal Margins
Epilogue

References
Index

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About the Author(s)

Martin Demant Frederiksen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Subject Categories

Anthropology
Geography
Sociology


In the series

Global Youth, edited by Craig Jeffrey and Jane Dyson.

The Global Youth Series, edited by Craig Jeffrey and Jane Dyson, comprises research-based studies of young people in the context of global social, political and economic change. The series brings together work that examines youth and aspects of global change within sociology, anthropology, development studies, geography, and educational studies. Our emphasis is on youth in areas of the world that are often excluded from mainstream discussions of young people, such as Latin America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, but we also welcome studies from Western Europe and North America, and books that bridge the global north and global south.

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