The older we are, the closer we are to finitude – the end of life – but does this make the future more important to us or less? The aim of this exploratory project is to develop social understandings of the relationship between future time and older age. With more people living longer, there is more future time in older age than ever before – especially in more economically-advantaged minority world countries – but this time is typically presented as problematic for younger workers rather than as more time that can be enjoyed in later life. This project will explore the dominant social and cultural discourses about the relationship between future time and people who are considered to be ‘old’. It will consider the perceptions towards the future of those who identify as ‘old’ and how these are informed by dominant social narratives. Importantly, it will explore how utopian thinking and arts-based methods can help us to reimagine the future differently in old age and provide tools for further thinking in these areas.
French J, Lovatt M & Wright V (2021) Through the Utopian Lens of Opportunity: Using fiction and theatre to reimagine the post-COVID-19 future. Sociological Review Magazine. https://thesociologicalreview.org/magazine/november-2021/methods-and-methodology/through-the-utopian-lens-of-opportunity/