Contemporary Futures: Perspectives from Social Anthropology by Sandra Wallman

By Sandra Wallman

In commercial societies imagining the long run is a significant enterprise; our assumptions in regards to the destiny govern the current administration of household, nationwide and worldwide assets, and are projected, a few may say inflicted, on societies whose visions are assorted. modern Futures focuses now not a lot on even if the longer term could be identified, yet on examining the best way we and others photo it. The individuals, all social anthropologists, discover the consequences that this photo has at the current, on workforce identification and trust within the self and its survival, on our relations with different cultures, and at the destiny itself. they supply a cross-cultural standpoint on quite a number futures visualised at the present and discusses the consequences of

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In the end it could not be arranged, but Ulla Wagner’s presentation at the conference covered the state of the (joint) art and its potential for future research. 4 The range of style, cost, and intended audience of current films about the future confirms that the topic is of more than minority interest at this time—whether it functions as an escape from the present, or as a way of thinking about it. 5 We need not assume that public policy is also decided in this way. 6 The history and present effect of the profession’s ambivalence are brought upto-date by Raymond Firth in Chapter 12.

According to Goody (1975), death and mourning have in many European and American milieus become private concerns. Lives are fragmented, privacy protected and the uniqueness of personal biographies is emphasised at the expense of those roles and activities which are clearly part of the communitas. Specifically, medical and social services cultures in our own society have a reputation of not accommodating the knowledge of death (Kennedy 1983; Pegg and Metze 1981; Hockey 1991). The lack of public, visible rituals surrounding death in the day centre seems to support such claims.

I sail over to a splendidly landscaped golf course for the senior Japanese businessmen whose microchip factories stretch to the horizon. Packed densely behind them lie corduroy stripes of Sitka spruce with an inviting notice to ‘Pick Your Own’; I…garner some genetically manipulated bananas. (Hornsby 1989) This future is doubly nostalgic; it both mourns the loss of traditional amenity and deplores the fraudulence of artificial substitutes. How and when did the late-lamented technological future come into being?

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