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Beyond Capitalist Realism - Why We Need Critical Future Studies
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Culture, Society and Media Production - KSM. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Media and Communication, the University of Auckland, New Zeeland.
2017 (English)In: Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, ISSN 2000-1525, E-ISSN 2000-1525, Vol. 9, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper introduces the interdisciplinary field of Critical Future Studies (CFS).

CFS investigates the scope and constraints within public culture for imagining and

debating different potential futures. It interrogates imagined futures founded – often

surreptitiously – upon values and assumptions from the past and present, as

well as those representing a departure from current social trajectories. CFS draws

on perspectives from various disciplines including sociology, political studies,

intellectual history, cultural history, media and cultural studies, utopian studies,

science and technology studies, and philosophy. CFS also engages with discourses

and ideas from the natural sciences (including popular science), computing and

economics. And, given our concern with public culture, CFS aims to contribute

constructively to vigorous and imaginative public debate about the future – a futural

public sphere – and to challenge a prevalent contemporary cynicism about our

capacity to imagine alternative futures while trapped in a parlous present. To that

extent, we propose CFS as a programme of engaged and open-ended social critique,

not as a solely academic endeavour. Our paper begins by describing the relationship

between CFS and mainstream Future Studies. Subsequently, we discuss

the contemporary context for Critical Future Studies. Here we make the case that

CFS is a timely and even urgent project at our current historical juncture, arguing

also for the significance of both utopian and dystopian imaginings. We then go on

to discuss methodologies within CFS scholarship. Finally, we conclude by reflecting

on the values underpinning CFS. Overall, this paper not only describes CFS

as a field of research but also serves as an invitation to cultural scholars to consider

how their own work might intersect with and contribute to CFS.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 9, no 1
Keywords [en]
critical future studies, utopia, dystopia, realism
National Category
Other Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-138786DOI: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1790615#sthash.7bZEHXNK.dpufOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-138786DiVA, id: diva2:1114436
Available from: 2017-06-23 Created: 2017-06-23 Last updated: 2017-07-11

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Godhe, Michael
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