Show Summary Details
Restricted access

A Day in the Cadillac

The Work of Hope in Urban Mongolia

Morten Axel Pedersen

Keywords: fortune; future; hope; luck; Mongolia; post-socialism; presentism; socio-economic networks

Based on fieldwork among Ulaanbaatar's dispossessed youth, this article explores the 'work of hope' in post-socialist Mongolia. Using anthropological writings on presentism and hope as my theoretical point of departure, I show how the concept of hope allows for the potentials of the moment to overflow the possibilities of the present. The article describes a number of lucky-and not so lucky-events that took place during a day spent with a group of young men cruising around the city in an old Cadillac. Hope emerges as a social method for momentarily integrating heterogeneous assemblages otherwise dispersed across the post-socialist city-in this case, people's metaphysical capacities and their economic assets-into chains of creditors and debtors, which are only barely holding together within an overarching context of failure.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or log in to access all content.