Diagnoses of the Future Horizon

  • Julia Cook
Part of the Critical Studies in Risk and Uncertainty book series (CRSTRU)


This chapter considers how the future has been conceptualised in sociological work, focusing predominantly on theoretical accounts which have sought to diagnose the character of the future horizon due to their strong influence on the discipline. While the future horizons of pre-modern and modern eras have been conceptualised in largely uniform ways (with some notable exceptions), the future of the contemporary, late modern era is comparatively contested. Competing diagnoses of this era as, for instance, late or post-modern, and as characterised by temporal acceleration, risk, or a new relationship with tradition are placed into dialogue in this chapter in order to highlight their key points of difference and similarity. Finally, alternative accounts of temporality and futurity produced by figures such as Johannes Fabian and Barbara Adam are considered.


Future thinking Social acceleration Risk society Post-traditional society 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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