A table for one: A critical reading of singlehood, gender and time

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


"What are you waiting for?" Stop wasting your time" "You will die alone," "You will miss the train and stay on your own!" These are some of the questions and warnings that single women hear on an everyday basis. Single women are constantly being asked whether they are ''still single,'' or being bid to get married next or soon. Still, soon, ever-after, waste of time, waiting, how long, when, all these form part of the rich language of time. This book argues that time plays a crucial rule in the discursive formation of female singlehood and that our common understanding of singlehood is dominated by underlying temporal models, premises and concepts. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach and integrating different theoretical realms and perspectives, this book paves way for a new theorization of singlehood and time. Lahad's unique approach gives us the opportunity to explore and theorize singlehood through temporal concepts such as waiting, wasting time, timeout and accelerated aging. Other temporal categories which are examined throughout this book as age, the life course, linearity and commodification of time enable the fresh consideration of our dominant perceptions about collective clocks, schedules, time tables and the temporal organization of social life in general. By proposing this new analytical direction, this book seeks to rework some of our common conceptions of singlehood, and presents a new theoretical arsenal with which the temporal paradigms which devalue and marginalize single women and women's subjectivies in general can be understated. Lahad argues that singlehood is sociologically important, because it touches upon some of the pressing issues in social life and raises fundamental questions about how people make sense of their lives and organize their lives with others. Drawing on a wide range of cultural resources - including web columns, blogs, advice columns, popular clich�s, advertisements and references from television and cinema, the author challenges the meaning-making processes of singlehood and time. In this connection, the book lays the ground for a rich, multilayered politicized analysis of solo living and temporality and intends to be a mile stone in both singlehood and time studies.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages153
ISBN (Electronic)9781526116352
ISBN (Print)9781526115393
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology

ULI publications

  • uli
  • Chronometry, Mental
  • Duration, Intuition of
  • Intuition of duration
  • Mental chronometry
  • Single women -- Social conditions
  • Time -- Perception
  • Time -- Social aspects
  • Time estimation
  • Time perception
  • Time, Cognition of


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