This research, carried out in 2005 in Bistriţa-Năsăud County, Romania, and Almería Province, Spain, was supported by grants from the William Wyse fieldwork fund and Peterhouse, Cambridge. For their helpful and incisive comments I am grateful to the SA/AS editor and the two anonymous readers who commented on this paper, as well as to Yoon Choi, Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov, Paul Stephenson, Clarissa de Waal, Catherine Wanner, and Piers Vitebsky and the other participants of a seminar at the Political Anthropology Reading Group at Cambridge where this theme was initially presented in June 2006.
Moral vectors, transitional time and a ‘utopian object of impossible fullness’*
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2007
Volume 15, Issue 2, pages 187–203, June 2007
How to Cite
Hartman, T. (2007), Moral vectors, transitional time and a ‘utopian object of impossible fullness’*. Social Anthropology, 15: 187–203. doi: 10.1111/j.0964-0282.2007.00012.x
- Issue published online: 30 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2007
- post-socialist societies;
Drawing on recent research in a Transylvanian community characterised by outward labour migration, this article posits a particular situated telos of normality, a ‘utopian object of impossible fullness’ defined subjectively by different social actors, which provides a sharp contrast to the delineated, singular accomplishments that characterised the collective teleological nature of socialist time. Unlike a discourse of progress, the expectation of utopia in the sense of ‘normality’, always deferred, always equally imminent, means that the present comes to be expressed as a void where seemingly contradictory moral vectors concerning practices such as working abroad can exist side by side.