Skip to main content

The Chronotope of the Queue

  • Chapter

Abstract

Identifying queuing as one of the quintessentially mundane aspects of everyday life, Joe Moran (2005) notes that it tends to be associated with life at the low end of the socio-economic spectrum. This is especially the case for queuing/waiting associated with state institutions such as public transport. Indeed, and perhaps apocryphally, Margaret Thatcher is said to have declared, ‘If a man finds himself a passenger on a bus having attained the age of twenty-six, he can account himself a failure in life’ (quoted in Moran, 2005: 4). The link between queuing/waiting and disadvantage so superciliously captured in the above statement is perhaps no more directly demonstrated than in the case of MMT. As we noted in the Introduction, Australian MMT programs commit clients to regular contact with prescribing doctors and, in particular, with the agencies through which methadone doses are dispensed. In New South Wales, this means clients can expect to visit their dosing point between three and seven days per week, entailing a high degree of contact with service providers that, as we saw in the previous chapter, can have significant effects on both parties.1 In this chapter we explore in detail the ways in which MMT clients describe their experiences of dosing, focusing on the issue of waiting and queuing, as this constitutes a central and abiding theme in client accounts of treatment.

Keywords

  • Private Clinic
  • Public Order
  • Dose Point
  • Liberal Society
  • Public Clinic

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

At all levels the drug trade operates without schedule. Nobody delivers on time except by accident. The addict runs on junk time. His body is his clock, and junk runs through it like an hour-glass. Time has meaning for him only with reference to his need. Then he makes his abrupt intrusion into the time of others, and, like all Outsiders, all Petitioners, he must wait, unless he happens to mesh with non-junk time.

William Burroughs (1982)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1057/9780230582569_4
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-0-230-58256-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   105.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Copyright information

© 2008 Suzanne Fraser and Kylie Valentine

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Fraser, S., Valentine, K. (2008). The Chronotope of the Queue. In: Substance and Substitution. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230582569_4

Download citation