2 Post-industrial times and the unexpected: endurance and sustainability in Germany's fastest-shrinking city

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Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of recent politico-economic changes on contemporary experiences of time from the perspective of the future. By discussing endurance, permanence, and sustainability in Germany's fastest-shrinking city, I present a set of future-orientated practices which are post-industrial, but unexpectedly so: namely, hopeful and not subject to the widely attested phenomenon of ‘enforced presentism’. I subsequently position the temporal logics of endurance and sustainability against current academic responses to accelerated change, captured in the misleading uses of the Deleuzian concepts of emergence and becoming. My informants' epistemic investments in the future allow for a different understanding of what I describe as post-industrial temporal agency and the conflictive politics that shape these otherwise unexpected temporal relations.

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