Author Hoag, Colin
Article Title Dereliction at the South African Department of Home Affairs : Time for the anthropology of bureaucracy
Full text http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0308275X14543395
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Source Critique of anthropology. vol. 34, no. 4 (Dec. 2014), p.410–428
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Call number Article
Journal Title Critique of anthropology.
Copy vol. 34, no. 4 (Dec. 2014), p.410–428
ISSN 0308-275X
Brief substance In this article, I consider how a temporal reorientation of bureaucracy studies – from retrospective analysis of outcomes to prospective analysis of states of possibility manifest in moments of bureaucratic waiting – could help students of bureaucracy to think non-normatively about the relationship between policy and practice. I draw on ethnographic fieldwork with low-level officials at visa permitting offices of a South African immigration bureaucracy to explore how time textures everyday bureaucratic processes and configures one’s understanding of what is possible in bureaucratic encounters. I develop the concept of “dereliction” to describe the ambiguous condition of hope and despair experienced by people engaged in bureaucratic encounters, illuminating the technologies that produce and manage this ambiguity, such as counters, cubbies, and temporary extension permits. While previous authors have shown that bureaucracies work to capture and control time, I shed light on a somewhat different sort of power: bureaucracies’ ability to orient people toward the future
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Full text http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0308275X14543395

 
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