Boredom as a Way of Life: Greyness, Homelessness, and Consumption in Bucharest
Bruce O’Neill, in “The Space of Boredom: Homelessness in the Slowing Global Order,” focuses his attention on the ways in which Bucharest’s poor, homeless, and once productive workers experience their exclusion from the city’s post-communist and now global economy, an experience embodied by a deep sense of boredom. The analysis is built on tracing and overlapping the daily life experiences of homeless people in different corners of Bucharest. O’Neill chooses to position boredom in relation to consumption, and in so doing, defines boredom as “a window into the cultural politics of exclusion in a moment of troubled global consumerism” (p. xiii). In this review, I briefly summarize the ethnography’s main ideas and focus my attention on a few elements that seem to be minimized in O’Neill’s analysis of boredom.
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