Prospection: Producing Social Futures

Bok, Barbara and Fuller, Ted (2021) Prospection: Producing Social Futures. In: Routledge Handbook of Social Futures. Routledge, Oxon and New York, pp. 242-251. ISBN 9781138340336

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Emerging agendas in social science are developing new methodologies to address significant contemporary challenges. These new approaches are inspiring changes in prospection methodologies that produce the status of knowledge about social futures. We stage prospection as enacting two realities: one about the phenomena being predicted and the other about the prospection enterprise. We consider three examples of current social science methodologies from a prospective stance: postnormal science, anticipation studies and science and technology studies. We illuminate their methodologies relevant to prospection and review Futures Studies / Foresight literature for evidence of the changes they are inspiring. We creatively synthesise four qualities of social prospection methodology from claims by the reviewed methodologies: thickness of relational complexes, degrees of sensitivity to how prospection is performed, openness of ecologies of practice and the extent of distributed engendering of social futures. We conclude there is growing interest in new prospection methodology that are in step with the complexities of the contemporary social world.

Keywords:futures, foresight, social futures, prediction, prospection, Post Normal Science, Anticipation, Science and Technology Studies
Subjects:L Social studies > L391 Sociology of Science and Technology
L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:47366
Deposited On:22 Nov 2021 13:45

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