Ravn, S. (2021) Exploring Future Narratives and the Materialities of Futures. Material Methods in Qualitative Interviews with Young Women. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Early Online.
This paper draws on the ‘object method’ described here and contributes to the ‘future’ methods literature by exploring the methodological potentials of using such material methods in qualitative research. Existing research has demonstrated how producing knowledge about imagined futures remains a challenge, often leading to abstract or generic accounts of such futures. Arguing for a double focus on materiality as method and the materiality of methods, this paper extends material methods to innovatively study futures. By considering the narratives about imagined futures generated with and by ‘future materials’ brought by participants to an interview, the paper demonstrates that this approach is productive for gaining insights that go beyond generic accounts. That is, via the materiality of the objects, specific imagined futures become ‘within reach’ for participants, with the object serving as an anchor for these future narratives.
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