New book: “The Anthropology of the Future”

8 April 2019

This book, by Rebecca Bryant and Daniel M Knight, presents the concept of ‘orientations’ as a way to study everyday life.

It analyses six main orientations – anticipation, expectation, speculation, potentiality, hope, and destiny – which represent different ways in which the future may affect our present. While orientations entail planning towards and imagining the future, they also often involve the collapse or exhaustion of those efforts: moments where hope may turn to apathy, frustrated planning to disillusion, and imagination to fatigue. By examining these orientations at different points, the authors argue for an anthropology that takes fuller account of the teleologies of action.