Thriving in the present : the politics and poetics of waiting and hope of the young women of Delhi’s aspiring middle class
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For the young women of Delhi’s “aspiring middle class,” the concepts of “hope” and “waiting” play an important role in their experiences. The “politics,” or structural factors, of waiting for the concrete hope of middle class-ness through economic advancement has led to the experience, or “poetics,” of “stuckedness” as this supposedly inevitable future has not come to pass. Recently, a new politics of waiting – that of abstract hopefulness – has come about as an attempt to overcome “existential immobility.” This government-distributed hopefulness, embedded in indeterminate time, has given the young women an idiom of enthusiasm in speaking of their pursuits. Using this time of “impasse,” the young women participate enthusiastically in activities that give them personal fulfillment. In this way, I argue that the entangled nature of hope, waiting and temporality not only offers a means of interpreting their experiences, but also has allowed the young women to thrive in the present.