Future anticipation in sociology

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The ability to make forecasts about events is a goal favored by the so-called exact sciences. In sociology and other social sciences, the forecast, although often sought after, is not likely to be realized unconditionally. This article seeks to problematize and discuss the connection between sociology and forecast. The object of study of sociology has particular features that distinguish it from other scientific fields, namely facts and social situations, which deal with trends; the systems of belief of social scientists and policymakers that can influence the attempt to anticipate the future; the dissemination of information and knowledge produced by sociology and other social sciences, which have the potential to change reality and, consequently, to call into question their capacity for the social forecast. These principles pose challenges to sociology’s heuristic potentials, making the reflection on these challenges indispensable in the scientific approach to social processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalScience Insights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021


  • Sociology
  • Forecasting
  • Prediction
  • Foresight
  • Social Change
  • Future


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