Queer futuring: an approach to critical futuring strategies for adult learners
Article publication date: 17 January 2022
Issue publication date: 24 February 2022
The purpose of this paper is to develop queer futuring strategies that take into consideration adult learners’ needs in support of transformational and sustainable change for social justice and equity.
This paper develops the construct of queer futuring, which engages queer theory perspectives in a critical futures framework. Adult learning theory informs queer futuring strategies to support adults and inform education to sustain transformational changes for social justice and equity.
With social justice in mind, queer futuring opens spaces and supports opportunities for adults to engage in learning activities that address historical and layered forms of oppression. Building on learning needs of adults to create meaning and make a difference in the world around them, queer futuring strategies provide tools for activism, advocacy and building new relationships and ways of being-with.
The sustainability of our current system of growth and financial well-being has already been called into question, and the current pandemic provides tangible evidence of values for contribution, connection and concern for others, even in the midst of political strife and conspiracy theories. These shifting values and values conflict of society point to the questions of equity and narrative inclusivity, challenging and disrupting dominant paradigms and structures that have perpetuated power and authority “over” rather than social participation “with” and harmony. Queer futuring is just the beginning of a bigger conversation about transforming society.
Queering spaces from the perspective of queer futuring keeps the adult learner and queering processes in mind with an emphasis on affiliation and belonging, identity and resistance and politics and change.
The authors suggest queer futuring makes room for opening spaces of creativity and insight as traditional and reified rationality is problematized, further supporting development of emergentist relationships with the future as spaces of possibility and innovation.
Queer futuring connects ethical and pragmatic approaches to futuring for creating the kinds of futures needed to decolonize, delegitimize and disrupt hegemonic and categorical thinking and social structures. It builds on queer theory’s critical perspective, engaging critical futures strategies with adult learners at the forefront.
The authors acknowledge and appreciate the valuable insights and probes from the reviewers of this manuscript. Your comments made this a much better paper.
Fleener, M.J. and Coble, C. (2022), "Queer futuring: an approach to critical futuring strategies for adult learners", On the Horizon, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1108/OTH-03-2021-0049
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