Taking a break
in A table for one

In the first part of the chapter, normative social rhythms and temporal concepts such as time out and taking a break are discussed. Drawing on sociological studies of time it is argued that what is considered as a temporal time out from the race of “finding the one” can turn into a permanent drop out from the collective linear trajectory, with limited chances of rejoining it. It is suggested that the demand for a time out is also an act of resistance which claims temporal agency and control of one’s time.

In the second section of this chapter this line of analysis is further developed by exploring images of time on hold and frozen time. Central to this analysis are also questions of mobility and speed as well as the prevalent perceptions of single women as immobile subjects frozen in time. According to these texts, single women are viewed as trapped in their own immobility, a temporal position in which they have lost their telos and agency. This leads to a discussion of how what is figured as a breakdown in the articulation of time and arrested flow of time which disconnects the present from the future and empties them out of meaning and substance.

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A table for one

A critical reading of singlehood, gender and time

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