Discourses of the Long-Term Future

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


This chapter continues to present the results of the empirical study informing this book and in so doing considers how individuals imagine the future of their society. The respondents are found to use discourses—specifically, those of apocalypse, technology and intergenerational continuity or decline—to depict the future. These discourses are, however, not used homogeneously. They are instead interpreted in ways that reflect two opposed accounts of the future, one depicting a narrative of decline ending in an eventual point of crisis, and the other animated by a broad sense of hope. This chapter argues that these competing accounts of the future each constitute a viable social or future imaginary as they are socially shared and provide both factual and normative accounts of the societal future.


Future imaginaries Social imaginaries Apocalypse Re-enchantment Intergenerational ethics Care 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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