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Imagining Futures - SOC00068I

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Richard Tutton
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

In this module we explore how to understand the future from sociological perspectives and to see futurity as a core aspect of contemporary social life.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

How do we imagine the future and how does that shape what we do today? Who seeks to control or own the future, and how are some people better positioned than others to shape how the future is imagined and realised? In this module we explore how to understand the future from sociological perspectives and to see futurity as a core aspect of contemporary social life. We aim to give you a detailed understanding of concepts from a range of diverse perspectives to analyse forms of future-making in contemporary societies. You will develop a critical understanding of how social actors construct images and narratives about possible futures and contest those produced by other groups. We also consider the role of social science to intervene into and to shape alternative futures

Module learning outcomes

Explain key engagements, concepts and approaches in the social science studies of the future

Critically assess how different social groups use resources to construct alternative images and narratives about alternative possible futures

Demonstrate a critical appreciation of how contestations over imagined futures animate social life and reflect power relationships

Demonstrate your own analytical and creative engagements with sociological ideas and ongoing debates about possible and preferred social futures

Collaborate effectively in group discussions and to successfully complete tasks


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Creative and analytical essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

For formative work - Write about an object from a future society- students will receive written or verbal feedback on how to improve their skills in areas that will contribute towards their summative assessment. Both formative assessments provide practice for the summative tasks which entail a visual analysis and a book review and are in line with LO particularly 1-4.

For summative work -A creative and analytical essay on the world of 2050 - students will receive an overall mark and grading according to clearly defined criteria for assessing their knowledge, skills and abilities in line with LOs 1-4. They will also receive written feedback showing areas in which they have done well and those areas in which they need to improve that will contribute to their progress.

Indicative reading

Adam, B and C Groves (2007) Future Matters: Action, Knowledge, Ethics, Leiden: Brill Bell, W and J. Mau (1971) (eds) The Sociology of the Future, Russell Sage Foundation: New York.
Coleman, R and R Tutton (2017) 'Introduction to Special Issue of The Sociological Review on 'Futures in question: theories, methods, practices', The Sociological Review, 65 (3): 440-447
Urry, J. (2016) What is the Future? Polity Press: London

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.