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Contested Futures

Contested Futures

A Sociology of Prospective Techno-Science

by Nik BrownBrian Rappert and Andrew Webster

Hardback Publication Date: 23/11/2000

This text is about what the future should or might look like and turns the analytical gaze towards the phenomenon of future orientation itself. The contributors examine how the future as a temporal abstraction is constructed and managed, by whom and under what conditions. This is done through exploration of the contested future(s) of various sciences and technologies - not least because the experience and projections of late-modern society are increasingly framed by techno-scientific language and visions of the future are dominated by new technologies. The optimism expressed for the future is coupled with a quality of inevitability in the development of particular technologies. The contributors to the volume all share a concern to understand how it is that some futures come to prevail over others, why once seemingly certain futures happened to fail, how other futures are marginalized as a consequence of the dominant metaphors and motifs used in everyday life, and the consequences of particular framings of the future. They do not see the future as in any way the result of a linear or naturally evolving process.
Rather, that the future of science and technology is actively created in the present through contested claims and counterclaims over its potential. Like all discourses, "the future" is constituted through an unstable field of language, practice and materiality in which various disciplines, capacities and actors compete for the right to represent near- and far-term developments.
Social forecasting
Publication Date:
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):

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