Expectation and hope experiences of time by Ecuadorian returnees envisioning a ‘life worth livi...

Jérémie VOIROL

This article contributes to anthropological reflections on ‘hope’ and ‘expectation’ by analysing the experiences of time of two Ecuadorian migrants who returned to their homeland from Spain and envision their future lives differently. Building on the migrants’ trajectories and reasonings, I propose a clearer conceptual delineation of the notions of hope and expectation than is currently operative in anthropology. I do so by showing their interrelations and articulations, particularly in one’s own experience (constituted by moments of expectation and moments of hope), and by drawing attention to my interlocutors’ temporalisation. As a future-orientation, hope is directed toward change and constitutes an envisioning more open and creative than expectation, which builds on continuity and stability. The notion of ‘duration’ provides insight into the ways my interlocutors compartmentalise their time experience, constituting a sense of past-ness, present-ness, and future-ness, which impacts their future imaginings as hoping versus expecting.