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The contemporary world has reached a pivotal moment of escalating injustices and apocalyptic risks, but also of unprecedented opportunities. Mounting pressures of social and ecological problems are met by a confluence of intellectual trends that allow the questioning of entrenched assumptions and the unleashing of a forward-oriented sociological imagination. In Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World, a diverse collection of regional experts explore contemporary trends, alternative visions, and new directions for sociological research, raising issues that reflect the complexity of challenges facing future projects on a shared planet. Topics include:  • Feminist and Indigenous Perspectives in Latin America  • An African-centred approach to Knowledge Production  • Post-Islamist Democracy Based on the revised papers of the Opening and Closing Plenaries of the Third ISA Forum of Sociology in Vienna, Austria, July 2016, which Markus Schulz organized on the theme “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World.”

Futures We Want : Walking Back the Cat, Positives, Negatives, Ambiguous, Balance
Futures We Want
Jan Nederveen Pieterse

In futures we want, what are positive and negative developments, what is ambiguous and what would the balance look like? The theme of the conference was originally a keynote for is inequality (Inequality, struggles we have, futures we want, International Sociological Association Forum, Vienna). Inequality has taken on dramatic proportions. It is a prism through which many dynamics become visible and an indicator of many other conditions.

This discussion is of a panoramic overview bird’s-eye character, in brief vignettes because the point is not just the developments themselves but also their interplay and the overall landscape they shape. I keep the format of this chapter ...

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