A sensory sociology of the future: Affect, hope and inventive methodologies

Coleman, Rebecca. 2017. A sensory sociology of the future: Affect, hope and inventive methodologies. Sociological Review, 65(3), pp. 525-543. ISSN 0038-0261 [Article]

Soc Rev Futures Accepted July 2016.pdf - Accepted Version
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Abstract or Description

The starting point for this article is that the future is difficult to research because of its intangibility. Drawing on recent work in visual and sensory sociology, affect, and time and futurity, I propose that sensory methodologies provide some ways of grasping, understanding, attuning and relating to the future. To develop this argument, I pay close attention to the Children of Unquiet (2013-14) project by artist Mikhail Karikis, and especially the film of the same name. This project involved Karikis working with local children to probe the possible futures of a site that was invested with hope and progress in the twentieth century, but has since been depopulated. In turning to an art project to consider the developments of a sensory sociology of the future, my intention is to examine the resonances between the project and some of the concerns of a sensory sociology of the future. In particular, I discuss the participation of children, and a conceptualization of hope as potentiality, open, affective and in the present. In conclusion, I explicate how the article seeks to contribute to a sensory sociology of the future, not by providing a blueprint for further work but rather by offering some indicative points and coordinates for this emerging field of research, including its involvement in creating conditions through which possible futures might be provoked or invented.

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ESRC. Grant Number: ES/J021512/2


futures; inventive methods; sensory sociology; affect; hope; interdisciplinarity

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29 July 2016Accepted
27 February 2017Published Online
1 September 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

03 Aug 2016 10:41

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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