All posts tagged: Waiting rooms

The Politics of Waiting: Those Who Wait & Those Who Don’t

“…modern society might easily be divided into two classes: those who have to wait and those who don’t,” (Ambient Television, pg. 198). I recently discovered sociologist Barry Schwartz’s concept of those who wait and those who don’t in Ambient Television by Anna McCarthy. The idea clicked for me immediately. Some don’t have to wait at all (the famous and extremely wealthy), while others have to wait a bit, and some much, much longer. How often and for how long we have to wait is directly linked to our perceived social and economic status. There’s a price to pay in order to bypass lines (from organ transplant lists to Disneyland) and only the rich and well-to-do often have easy access to these necessities and luxuries. As McCarthy points out, “for many people – women, the poor, and others who occupy particularly disadvantaged positions within systems of social administration – the long wait is a time-consuming and inevitable requirement of basic access to goods and services in modern life,” (pg. 198). Lately I’ve noticed, in particular, that whenever I find myself in a doctor’s …