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Vertiginous Life: An Anthropology of Time and the Unforeseen

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Volume 2

New Anthropologies of Europe: Perspectives and Provocations

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Vertiginous Life

An Anthropology of Time and the Unforeseen

Daniel M. Knight

178 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-193-6 $120.00/£89.00 / Hb / Published (September 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-194-3 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - edit   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This is groundbreaking work in all terms – ethnographically, conceptually, analytically. The kind of book that will become a classic in more than one field.” • Elisabeth Kirtsoglou, Durham University

“This is an insightful and gripping account of a troubling undercurrent in Greece as depicted in the personal narratives by men and women who still struggle to build lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of the 2009 crash of the country’s state economy.” • Kathryn A. Kozaitis, Georgia State University


Vertiginous Life provides a theory of the intense temporal disorientation brought about by life in crisis. In the whirlpool of unforeseen social change, people experience confusion as to where and when they belong on timelines of previously unquestioned pasts and futures. Through individual stories from crisis Greece, this book explores the everyday affects of vertigo: nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, the sense of falling, and unknowingness of Self. Being lost in time, caught in the spin-cycle of crisis, people reflect on belonging to modern Europe, neoliberal promises of accumulation, defeated futures, and the existential dilemmas of life held captive in the uncanny elsewhen.

Daniel M. Knight is Reader in the Department of Social Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He is author of History, Time, and Economic Crisis in Central Greece (Palgrave, 2015) and co-author of The Anthropology of the Future (Cambridge, 2019, with Rebecca Bryant).

Subject: Anthropology (General) Sociology
Area: Southern Europe


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