Contested Futures

A Sociology of Prospective Techno-Science

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Author: Nik Brown,Brian Rappert

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351949004

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 3365

In a unique volume, Contested Futures brings together a group of scholars to examine the relationships between social action and the future. Rather than speculating upon what the future might bring, the volume interrogates the metaphors and practices through which the future is mobilized as an object of present day action and agency. The book shifts the analytical gaze from looking into the future to looking at the future as a sociological phenomenon in its own right. Futures are thus contested in as much as they register differences of interest, time frame or organizational and political form. Contestation is also evident in the ascendancy of certain discourses, languages and metaphors which foreclose some futures whilst facilitating others. But futures are far from being simply linguistic abstractions, and in fact can often be seen to harden into material entrenchment as expectations become scripted into 'path dependency' and 'lock in'. Contested Futures is an invaluable analysis for both academics and policy actors seeking a better understanding of the ubiquity of futures-discourse in the context of today’s uncertainties.

Global Civil Society

Contested Futures

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Author: Gideon Baker,David Chandler

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134256868

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 1695

For many commentators, global civil society is revolutionising our approach to global politics, as new non-state-based and border-free expressions of political community challenge territorial sovereignty as the exclusive basis for political community and identity. This challenge 'from below' to the nation-state system is increasingly seen as promising nothing less than a reconstruction, or a re-imagination, of world politics itself. Whether in terms of the democratisation of the institutions of global governance, the spread of human rights across the world, or the emergence of a global citizenry in a worldwide public sphere, global civil society is understood by many to provide the agency necessary for these hoped-for transformations. Global Civil Society asks whether this idea is such a qualitatively new phenomenon after all; whether the transformation of the nation-state system is actually within its reach; and what some of the drawbacks might be.

Contested Futures

A Sociology of Prospective Techno-science

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Author: Nik Brown,Brian Rappert,Andrew Webster

Publisher: Ashgate Pub Limited

ISBN: 9780754612636

Category: Social Science

Page: 277

View: 3044

Examining the relationship between social action and the future, this book interrogates the metaphors and practices through which the future is mobilized as an object of present day action and agency. It shifts the analytical gaze from 'looking into' the

Technology, Society and Inequality

New Horizons and Contested Futures

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Author: Erika Cudworth,Peter Senker,Kathy Walker

Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften

ISBN: 9781433119705

Category: Social Science

Page: 215

View: 5366

This book suggests that the primary purpose of current production and distribution of products and services from the global capitalist system is not to satisfy human needs but to create profit for the owners of capital, which in turn has devastating consequences for the environment and for vulnerable people in both developed and developing countries. The wider dynamics of capitalist systems of production/consumption and inequality are also explored in relation to economic and socio/cultural perspectives. With this in mind, the essays address three key themes: relations between technologies, inequalities, and exploitation; issues surrounding technologies and development; and the nature of technologies and their associated opportunities for the future. -- Publisher description.

Energy, Resource Extraction and Society

Impacts and Contested Futures

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Author: Anna Szolucha

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135121392X

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 236

View: 6779

Energy is central to the fabric of society. This book revisits the classic notions of energy impacts by examining the social effects of resource extraction and energy projects which are often overlooked. Energy impacts are often reduced to the narrow configurations of greenhouse gas emissions, chemical spills or land use changes. However, this neglects the fact that the way we produce, distribute and consume energy shapes society, political institutions and culture. The authors trace the impacts of contemporary energy and resource extraction developments and explain their significance for the shaping of powerful social imaginaries and a reconfiguration of political and democratic systems. They analyse not only the complex histories and landscapes of industrial mining and energy development, including oil, coal, wind power, gas (fracking) and electrification, but also their significance for contested energy and social futures. Based on ethnographic and interdisciplinary research from around the world, including case studies from Australia, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Turkey, UK and USA, they document the effects on local communities and how these are often transformed into citizen engagement, protest and resistance. This sheds new light on the relationship between energy and power, reflecting a wide array of pertinent impacts beyond the usual considerations of economic efficiency and energy security. The volume is aimed at advanced students and researchers in anthropology, sociology, human geography, science and technology studies, environmental studies and sustainable development as well as professionals working in the field of impact assessments.

Women and Wars

Contested Histories, Uncertain Futures

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Author: Carol Cohn

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745660665

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 8837

Where are the women? In traditional historical and scholarly accounts of the making and fighting of wars, women are often nowhere to be seen. With few exceptions, war stories are told as if men were the only ones who plan, fight, are injured by, and negotiate ends to wars. As the pages of this book tell, though, those accounts are far from complete. Women can be found at every turn in the (gendered) phenomena of war. Women have participated in the making, fighting, and concluding of wars throughout history, and their participation is only increasing at the turn of the 21st century. Women experience war in multiple ways: as soldiers, as fighters, as civilians, as caregivers, as sex workers, as sexual slaves, refugees and internally displaced persons, as anti-war activists, as community peace-builders, and more. This book at once provides a glimpse into where women are in war, and gives readers the tools to understood women’s (told and untold) war experiences in the greater context of the gendered nature of global social and political life.

Imagined Futures in Science, Technology and Society

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Author: Gert Verschraegen,Frédéric Vandermoere,Luc Braeckmans,Barbara Segaert

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315440822

Category: Social Science

Page: 236

View: 6250

Imagining, forecasting and predicting the future is an inextricable and increasingly important part of the present. States, organizations and individuals almost continuously have to make decisions about future actions, financial investments or technological innovation, without much knowledge of what will exactly happen in the future. Science and technology play a crucial role in this collective attempt to make sense of the future. Technological developments such as nanotechnology, robotics or solar energy largely shape how we dream and think about the future, while economic forecasts, gene tests or climate change projections help us to make images of what may possibly occur in the future. This book provides one of the first interdisciplinary assessments of how scientific and technological imaginations matter in the formation of human, ecological and societal futures. Rooted in different disciplines such as sociology, philosophy, and science and technology studies, it explores how various actors such as scientists, companies or states imagine the future to be and act upon that imagination. Bringing together case studies from different regions around the globe, including the electrification of German car infrastructure, or genetically modified crops in India, Imagined Futures in Science, Technology and Society shows how science and technology create novel forms of imagination, thereby opening horizons toward alternative futures. By developing central aspects of the current debate on how scientific imagination and future-making interact, this timely volume provides a fresh look at the complex interrelationships between science, technology and society. This book will be of interest to postgraduate students interested in Science and Technology Studies, History and Philosophy of Science, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Political Sciences, Future Studies and Literary Sciences.

Future Perfect?

God, Medicine and Human Identity

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Author: Celia Deane-Drummond,Peter Manley Scott

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0567234010

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 8573

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What is the Future?

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Author: John Urry

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745696570

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 9733

Thinking about the future is essential for almost all organizations and societies. States, corporations, universities, cities, NGOs and individuals believe they cannot miss the future. But what exactly is the future? It remains a mystery ? perhaps the greatest mystery, especially because futures are unpredictable and often unknowable, the outcome of many factors, known and unknown. The future is rarely a simple extrapolation from the present. In this important book, John Urry seeks to capture the many efforts that have been made to anticipate, visualize and elaborate the future. This includes examining the methods used to model the future, from those of the RAND Corporation to imagined future worlds in philosophy, literature, art, film, TV and computer games. He shows that futures are often contested and saturated with different interests, especially in relation to future generations. He also shows how analyses of social institutions, practices and lives should be central to examining potential futures, and issues such as who owns the future. The future seems to be characterized by ?wicked problems?. There are multiple ?causes? and ?solutions?, long-term lock-ins and complex interdependencies, and different social groups have radically different frames for understanding what is at stake. Urry explores these issues through case-studies of 3D printing and the future of manufacturing, mobilities in the city, and the futures of energy and climate change.

Therapeutic Revolutions

Pharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century

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Author: Jeremy A. Greene,Flurin Condrau,Elizabeth Siegel Watkins

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022639087X

Category: History

Page: 321

View: 3390

When asked to compare the practice of medicine today to that of a hundred years ago, most people will respond with a story of therapeutic revolution: back then we had few effective remedies, now we have more (and more powerful) tools to fight disease. In this version of history, medicine was made modern and effectual by medicines. The aim of "Therapeutic Revolutions" is to challenge the linearity of this historical narrative, provide a thicker explanation of the process of therapeutic transformation, and explore the complex relationships between medicines and social change. Working on three continents and touching upon the lived experiences of patients and physicians, consumers and providers, marketers and regulators, the contributors to this volume together reveal the tensions between universal claims of therapeutic knowledge and the specificity of local sites in which they are put into practice, asking, collectively: what is revolutionary about therapeutics? "

Humanitarianism Contested

Where Angels Fear to Tread

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Author: Michael Barnett,Thomas G. Weiss

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136814388

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 9270

This book provides a succinct but sophisticated understanding of humanitarianism and insight into the on-going dilemmas and tensions that have accompanied it since its origins in the early nineteenth century. Combining theoretical and historical exposition with a broad range of contemporary case studies, the book: provides a brief survey of the history of humanitarianism, beginning with the anti-slavery movement in the early nineteenth century and continuing to today’s challenge of post-conflict reconstruction and saving failed states explains the evolution of humanitarianism. Not only has it evolved over the decades, but since the end of the Cold War, humanitarianism has exploded in scope, scale, and significance presents an overview of the contemporary humanitarian sector, including briefly who the key actors are, how they are funded and what they do with their money analyses the ethical dilemmas confronted by humanitarian organization, not only in the abstract but also, and most importantly, in real situations and when lives are at stake examines how humanitarianism poses fundamental ethical questions regarding the kind of world we want to live in, what kind of world is possible, and how we might get there. An accessible and engaging work by two of the leading scholars in the field, Humanitarianism Contested is essential reading for all those concerned with the future of human rights and international relations.

Mobile Lives

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Author: Anthony Elliott,John Urry

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134019211

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 208

View: 8085

How should we understand the personal and social impacts of complex mobility systems? Can lifestyles based around intensive travel, transport and tourism be maintained in the 21st century? What possibility post-carbon lifestyles? In this provocative study of "life on the move", Anthony Elliott and John Urry explore how complex mobility systems are transforming everyday, ordinary lives. The authors develop their arguments through an analysis of various sectors of mobile lives: networks, new digital technologies, consumerism, the lifestyles of ‘globals’, and intimate relationships at-a-distance. Elliott and Urry introduce a range of new concepts – miniaturized mobilities, affect storage, network capital, meetingness, neighbourhood lives, portable personhood, ambient place, globals – to capture the specific ways in which mobility systems intersect with mobile lives. This book represents a novel approach in "post-carbon" social theory. It will be essential reading for advanced undergraduate students, postgraduates and teachers in sociology, social theory, politics, geography, international relations, cultural studies, and economics and business studies.

Imagined Futures

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Author: Jens Beckert

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674545893

Category: Social Science

Page: 383

View: 7721

Consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How do these actors assess uncertainty? Jens Beckert adds a new chapter to the theory of capitalism by showing how fictional expectations drive modern economies—or throw them into crisis when imagined futures fail to materialize.

Impossible Refuge

The Control and Constraint of Refugee Futures

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Author: Georgina Ramsay

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351801473

Category: Social Science

Page: 214

View: 9830

Impossible Refuge brings the perspectives of refugees into rapidly emerging dialogues about contemporary situations of mass forced migration, asking: what does it mean to be displaced? Based on multi-sited ethnographic research conducted with refugees from Central Africa living in situations of protracted asylum in Uganda and resettlement in Australia, the book provides a unique comparative analysis of global humanitarian systems and the experiences of refugees whose lives are interwoven with them. The book problematises the solutions that are currently in place to resolve the displacement of refugees, considering that since displacement cannot be reduced to a politico-legal problem but is an experience that resonates at an existential level, it cannot be assumed that politico-legal solutions to displacement automatically resolve what is, fundamentally, an existential state of being. Impossible Refuge therefore offers a new theoretical foundation through which to think about the experiences of refugees, as well as the systems in place to manage and resolve their displacement. The book argues that the refuge provided to refugees through international humanitarian systems is conditional: requiring that they conform to lifestyles that benefit the hegemonic future horizons of the societies that host and receive them. Impossible Refuge calls for new ways of approaching displacement that go beyond the exceptionality of refugee experience, to consider instead how the contestation and control of possible futures makes displacement a general condition of our time. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in migration and refugees, humanitarianism and violence, sovereignty and citizenship, cosmology and temporality, and African studies, broadly.

Releasing the Commons

Rethinking the futures of the commons

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Author: Ash Amin,Philip Howell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131737536X

Category: Science

Page: 226

View: 6353

This book moves beyond seeing the commons in the past tense, an entity passed over from the public into the private, to reimagine the commons as a process, a contest of force, a reconstitution, and a site of convening practices. It highlights new spaces of gathering opening up, such as the digital commons, and new practices of being in common, such as community economies and solidarity networks. The commons is seen as a contested domain of the collective and as a changing way of being in common, with the balance poised in the tensile play between political economy and social innovation. The book focuses on the possibility of recovering a future in which more can be held by the many, focusing on three concepts: nation and nature as a commons, publics and rights, and bodies, concerning the management of lives and livelihoods. Across these three passage points, the book finds evidence of a commons under attack but also defended in fragile though promising ways. With contributions from leading scholars, this thought provoking book will be of great interest to students and scholars in geography, environmental studies, politics, anthropology, and cultural studies.

Pipe Politics, Contested Waters

Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai

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Author: Lisa Björkman

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375214

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 3449

Winner, 2014 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences Despite Mumbai's position as India's financial, economic, and cultural capital, water is chronically unavailable for rich and poor alike. Mumbai's dry taps are puzzling, given that the city does not lack for either water or financial resources. In Pipe Politics, Contested Waters, Lisa Björkman shows how an elite dream to transform Mumbai into a "world class" business center has wreaked havoc on the city’s water pipes. In rich ethnographic detail, Pipe Politics explores how the everyday work of getting water animates and inhabits a penumbra of infrastructural activity—of business, brokerage, secondary markets, and sociopolitical networks—whose workings are reconfiguring and rescaling political authority in the city. Mumbai’s increasingly illegible and volatile hydrologies, Björkman argues, are lending infrastructures increasing political salience just as actual control over pipes and flows becomes contingent on dispersed and intimate assemblages of knowledge, power, and material authority. These new arenas of contestation reveal the illusory and precarious nature of the project to remake Mumbai in the image of Shanghai or Singapore and gesture instead toward the highly contested futures and democratic possibilities of the actually existing city.

Contemporary Futures

Perspectives from Social Anthropology

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Author: Sandra Wallman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134919425

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 5649

In industrial societies imagining the future is a serious business; our assumptions about the future govern the present management of domestic, national and global resources, and are projected, some would say inflicted, on societies whose visions are different. Contemporary Futures focuses not so much on whether the future can be known, but on interpreting the way we and others picture it. The contributors, all social anthropologists, explore the effects that this picture has on the present, on group identity and belief in the self and its survival, on our relationships with other cultures, and on the future itself. They provide a cross-cultural perspective on a range of futures visualised at this time and discusses the implications of

Indigeneity on the Move

Varying Manifestations of a Contested Concept

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Author: Eva Gerharz,Nasir Uddin,Pradeep Chakkarath

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1785337238

Category: Social Science

Page: 344

View: 1308

"Indigeneity" has become a prominent yet contested concept in national and international politics, as well as within the social sciences. This edited volume draws from authors representing different disciplines and perspectives, exploring the dependence of indigeneity on varying sociopolitical contexts, actors, and discourses with the ultimate goal of investigating the concept's scientific and political potential.