Nearly a decade after the global financial crisis of 2008, this thematic
section investigates one way in which marginalization and precarization appears:
boredom. An increasingly competitive global economy has fundamentally
changed the coordinates of work and class in ways that have led to a changing engagement
with boredom. Long thought of as an affliction of prosperity, boredom
has recently emerged as an ethnographically observed plight of the most economically
vulnerable. Drawing on fieldwork from postsocialist Europe and postcolonial
Africa, this thematic section explores the intersection of boredom and precarity
in order to gain new insight into the workings of advanced capitalism. It experiments
with ways of theorizing the changing relationship between status, production,
consumption, and the experience of excess free time. These efforts are rooted
in a desire to make sense of the precarious forms of living that proliferated in the
aftermath of the global financial crisis and that continue to endure a decade later.
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