Digital nomadism as temporal privilege

Authored by: Aleksandrina Atanasova , Fleura Bardhi , Giana M. Eckhardt , Laetitia Mimoun

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Consumption

Print publication date:  September  2022
Online publication date:  September  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032329598
eBook ISBN: 9781003317524
Adobe ISBN:


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That time is a valuable commodity in our contemporary society preoccupied with productivity and the speed afforded by digital technologies is well established in the marketing literature. Two streams of literature have emerged: one associating status with lack of time and busyness and the other linking status to the ability to enjoy slowness. How consumers’ perceptions of time unfold beyond a fast-slow binary, however, is not well understood. In this chapter, we draw from an interpretive exploration of digital nomadism as a liquid lifestyle enabled by the digital marketplace and introduce the notion of temporal privilege as a marker of status based on a perception of time abundance and time sovereignty. We demonstrate that temporal privilege is achieved through (1) rejection of productivity orientations and (2) projection of temporal control. We thus highlight an emergent way to signal status that revolves neither around slowness nor busyness, but around the ability to circumvent binary temporal rhythms to gain an abundance of free time. This is perceived as a form of temporal privilege. We contribute to the ongoing debate on time as status by introducing temporal status as a new form of distinction in the context of liquidity and digitalization.

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