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Accepted Paper:

Seeing through Scandals: Timely responsibilities in Moroccan family affairs  
Annerienke Fioole (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper dissects interplays between the passage of time and the assumption of responsibilities during scandals on women and men’s out-of-wedlock relationships in Morocco. I show how people refigure their mutual positions by banking on the retrospective-prospective possibilities of these events.

Paper long abstract:

Based on 14 months of fieldwork with families in the region of Skhirat-Témara, I elucidate how assuming responsibility and playing into the retrospective-prospective possibilities of events works out on the scale of everyday interactions between family members, neighbours, and friends in a Moroccan small-town.

Women and men in my research generally agreed that sexual relations outside of marriage are shameful, sinful, and illegal and therefore need to remain secret. Nonetheless, these intimacies also embody pleasurable opportunities as well as delightful tales to share with others. Beyond appearing as secretive transgressors in opposition to others, Moroccan couples in out-of-wedlock relationships involve family members, neighbours, and friends to create intricate cover-ups. Their enactment of cooperative discretion, I show, implicates all parties involved: those who hide their affairs, those who cover for them, and those who ignore others’ concealments.

Yet instead of keeping out-of-wedlock intimacies as covert as possible, in some cases people to the contrary play out (the imminent threat of) an arising scandal to forge the course they desire for their relationships. I elucidate how exposure of out-of-wedlock relations for some men and women features in their stories not as the ultimate problem to be avoided, but as a solution in time that allows them to move forward. I dissect how people handle exposure of their relationships by banking on the passage of time and thereby prompt others among their family, friends, and neighbours to rearrange their positions and refigure their responsibilities towards one another.

Panel Irre10b
Temporality and (ir)responsibility within crises II
  Session 1 Friday 2 April, 2021, -