Post-Crisis Utopias? - Future Orientation and Sociological Imagination
Besides the interest in a comparison of the imagined scenarios, it is worth looking at the ways in which different authors/author collectives conceptualize their visions to make them powerful. To do so I want to pronounce the “how” in the analysis of these interpretations: How are the ideas configure and promoted? How do they gain plausibility and potentially stability? Metaphors, subject positions, connections to social movements or relation to prior interpretations are examples of associations that might be involved in these processes. For this task I combine a theoretical framework based in Science and Technology Studies (ANT, Post-ANT) and an empirical approach that links content and rhetorical analysis.
My goal is to gain further insights into sociologists’ involvement in public affairs, something that is commonly seen as marginal, while retaining a critical perspective on the production of knowledge in the own discipline. For this session this is highly relevant since social scientists can be spokespersons or inspiration for social movements based on their outline of desirable futures. They are (or rather want to be) involved in the shaping of possible futures – an involvement that needs further elaboration.