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Speculative fictions for understanding global change environments: two thought experiments

Gough, Noel 2003, Speculative fictions for understanding global change environments: two thought experiments, Managing global transitions: international research journal, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring, pp. 5-27.

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Title Speculative fictions for understanding global change environments: two thought experiments
Author(s) Gough, Noel
Journal name Managing global transitions: international research journal
Volume number 1
Issue number 1
Season Spring
Start page 5
End page 27
Publisher Univerza na Primoskem, Fakulteta za management Koper
Place of publication Koper, Slovenija
Publication date 2003
ISSN 1581-6311
1854-6935
Summary The purpose of a thought experiment, as the term was used by quantum and relativity physicists in the early part of the twentieth century, was not prediction (as is the goal of classical experimental science), but more defensible representations of present ‘realities’. Speculative fictions, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the Star Wars cinema saga, can be read as sociotechnical thought experiments that produce alternative representations of present circumstances and uncertainties, and anticipate and critique possible futures. In this essay I demonstrate how two examples of popular speculative fictions, Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) and Ursula Le Guin's The Telling (2000), function as thought experiments that problematise global transitions in their respective eras. I argue that critical readings of such stories can help us to anticipate, critique, and respond constructively to social and cultural changes and change environments within nation-states that constitute, and are constituted by, global change processes and their effects.
Language eng
Field of Research 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002102

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Social and Cultural Studies in Education
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