The distinction between imaginaries and future imaginaries

This article is part of my Master’s Thesis - Future Imaginaries. Previous Chapter: 3.4.1 The vagueness of future imaginaries

One of the first questions that arise when approaching Future Imaginaries is whether Imaginaries and Future Imaginaries are not the same things. From a basic understanding, every Imaginary has a future reference because expectations refer to future behavior and future developments (e.g., in the sense of “I expect you to deliver what you promise”). This is why authors such as Lockton and Candy use imaginaries without adding “future” from their futures studies perspective (cf. chapter 2.3.4).

Only Cook, and Goode and Godhe explicitly use the term Future Imaginaries. In each case, they consciously refer to specific developments in the future. For Cook, it is the expectation of an apocalypse or its averting through technological developments. For Goode and Godhe, Future Imaginaries are a subcategory of Imaginaries, which they distinguish from other subcategories such as Cultural Imaginaries and Global Imaginaries based on the reference point. For them, Future Imaginaries are imaginaries about the future. With Beckert, it can thus be said that Social Imaginaries coordinate living together in society, while Future Imaginaries coordinate dealing with an uncertain future in society (cf. chapter 2.3.2).

Next Chapter: 3.4.3 Minimum group size for (future) imaginaries

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