Futurism, futurology, future shock, climate change: visions of the future from 1909 to the present

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This essay charts a brief intellectual history of the futures—both utopian and dystopian— conceived in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It traces perspectives on the future since 1909, when the term ‘futurism’ was coined in the publication of the ‘The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism.’ The essay maps changes in the vision of the future, taking a chronological approach in noting developments in the discourse on the future. A prominent theme in pronouncements on the future is technological progress, first in relation to industrial technology, later in the context of post-industrial or information technology. A turning-point in this discourse can be isolated in the early 1970s, when ideas of technological progress begin to be challenged in the public sphere; from that date, environmental concern becomes increasingly significant in discussions of the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-116
Number of pages18
JournalPortal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • future
  • futurism
  • futurology
  • climate change
  • environment


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