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Keywords:

  • [youth;
  • India;
  • class;
  • time;
  • politics;
  • neoliberalism;
  • masculinity

ABSTRACT

Unemployment among educated young men has become a central feature of globalization. In this article, I examine the experiences and strategies of unemployed young men in the north Indian city of Meerut. Many of these men complain that they are “just passing time” (doing “timepass”) in run-down government universities. But they also use this idea of themselves in limbo to fashion novel cultures of masculinity that partially bridge caste divides. I use a discussion of these young men's predicament to argue for an ethnographically sensitive political-economy approach to the study of youth, culture, and neoliberal transformation, one attuned to both the durability of social inequalities and counterintuitive cultural practice.