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The agency of the futures

Published 2023-01-10


  • anticipation,
  • agency,
  • aspirations,
  • expectations,
  • future,
  • imaginaries,
  • imagined futures,
  • narratives,
  • pragmatism,
  • projectivity,
  • shadow of the future
  • ...More

How to Cite

Bazzani, G. (2023). The agency of the futures. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali.

Funding data


In recent years the study of the future has (re-)emerged and is raising increasing interest in the social sciences. However, this field of research often seems fragmented into different perspectives, as though the common object of study were vague or inconsistent. In line with the pragmatist tradition, this article elucidates the key role played by the future within courses of action, both routine and planned. When routine is broken, projective reasoning emerges and creates a horizon of possibilities that is the precondition of agency capacity. Expectations, imaginaries, and narratives of the future are the constitutive elements of projective reasoning: these are introduced together with some examples of their influence on agency. This framework provides the theoretical ground for analysing the influence of the future in the course of action and it can be applied to a wide range of social dynamics.


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