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Dolan, Catherine and Rajak, Dinah (2018) 'Speculative Futures at the Bottom of the Pyramid.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 24 (2). pp. 233-255.

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Celebrated as creative, flexible catalysts of inclusive capitalism, urban youth are central to bottom‐of‐the‐pyramid (BoP) models of development, which set out to repurpose the jobless as entrepreneurs in the making. We explore the multiple (at times conflicting) temporalities – the practices, technologies, and representations of time – which figure in a BoP initiative offering entrepreneurial opportunities to unemployed youth in Nairobi's slums: from the invocation of clock‐time discipline to the professional time of entrepreneurial subjectivities and the enchantments of the not‐yet. But the appeal of BoP, we suggest, does not turn either on the here‐and‐now of survival or on an impossible pipe dream of prosperity, but rather resides firmly in the medium term: a foreseeable future of modest desires, which nonetheless remain tantalizingly just out of reach for most. By examining how these temporal conflicts play out in attempts to fashion a cadre of self‐willed, aspiring entrepreneurs, we reveal the limits to entrepreneurial agency, and the contradictions inherent in the mission of (self‐)empowerment through enterprise upon which the ideology of inclusive markets is built.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
ISSN: 13590987
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Anthropological Institute This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2018 09:22

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