O'Loughlin review of Sharma's In the Meantime in Media, Culture & Society

Media, Culture & Society have published Ben O'Loughlin's review of the book In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics by Sarah Sharma, Associate Professor of Media and Technology Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. He writes:

Sarah Sharma’s new volume demolishes the vanity and conceit of those who argue that a properly political response to an accelerating culture is to slow down. Life is already slow for most people. It is slow for the mass of cleaners, taxi drivers and security guards whose repetitive labour is the very condition upon which a sped-up life can be lived. Those with a platform to talk publicly about speed – critical theorists who attack 24/7 living and business leaders who celebrate it – barely register how their experience of an always-on culture is dependent upon an infrastructure of labour made up of varied intersecting and interdependent temporalities of waiting and rushing, serving and cajoling, supporting and de-stressing. Sharma brings this world to life through ethnographic studies of frequent flyers, taxi drivers, yoga instructors and slow-food lifestylists. Sharma’s thesis is that ‘differential relationships to time organize and perpetuate inequalities’ (p. 137). Claims about a blanket speeding up or need to slow down miss how power works through the synchronising of some people’s patience and others’ haste ... [read on here]