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The Anthropology of the Future

$25.99 (P)

Part of New Departures in Anthropology

  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108434379

$ 25.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Study of the future is an important new field in anthropology. Building on a philosophical tradition running from Aristotle through Heidegger to Schatzki, this book presents the concept of 'orientations' as a way to study everyday life. It analyses six main orientations - anticipation, expectation, speculation, potentiality, hope, and destiny - which represent different ways in which the future may affect our present. While orientations entail planning towards and imagining the future, they also often involve the collapse or exhaustion of those efforts: moments where hope may turn to apathy, frustrated planning to disillusion, and imagination to fatigue. By examining these orientations at different points, the authors argue for an anthropology that takes fuller account of the teleologies of action.

    • Presents an essential guide on how to study the future anthropologically
    • Promotes deeper understanding of how and why people participate in future-oriented social activities
    • The book is illustrated with ethnographic case studies of history, historicity, tradition and the past
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘The poetics and politics of everyday temporality may never be more engaging than in Bryant and Knight's call to orient the social present in awareness of the not-yet-here, the not-yet-now. Addressing the future as an object of anthropological inquiry, the authors chorus the ‘time-reckoning of capitalism … at the heart of the modern', seeking traces of both spirit and heart across the global ethnoscape. The overall effect is of a future deexoticized. To my mind, this is a work for the ages, deftly informed by theory and felt through people compelled to mobilize prospects for rupture and continuity, as a matter of very real consequence.' Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts

    '… this study is fairly comprehensive in reviewing the literature on time and temporality.' M. Ebert, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108434379
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the future of the future in anthropology
    1. Anticipation
    2. Expectation
    3. Speculation
    4. Potentiality
    5. Hope
    6. Destiny
    Conclusion: the future as method.

  • Authors

    Rebecca Bryant, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Rebecca Bryant is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands. She is an anthropologist of politics and law. Among other works, she is author of The Past in Pieces: Belonging in the New Cyprus (2010), and De Facto Dreams: Building the So-Called State, co-authored with Mete Hatay (forthcoming).

    Daniel M. Knight, University of St Andrews, Scotland
    Daniel M. Knight is a Lecturer in Social Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He writes on time and temporality, austerity and economy, and renewable energy. He is author of History, Time, and Economic Crisis in Central Greece (2015) and co-editor of History and Anthropology journal.

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