The Imaginative in the Concrete: How Action is Premised on Emerging Hopes and Potentiality

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In our everyday living, our ongoing actions in and across practices are continually directed by and towards what we imagine, by what is not-yet in being and is yet in its becoming. Even though this presupposes that imagination and concrete actions are closely intertwined, when the imaginative is coupled to everyday practices, imagination needs to be understood as highly ambivalent, contradictory and at times even destructive. Action may be directed by and infused with passion through imagined hopes, dreams, and potentiality. Dreams and hopes, however, are also constantly emerging through actions and altered in ways that may be vague and ephemeral. How can such ambivalences and emergences be conceptualized as a mutually constitutive relation between action and imagination? By drawing on socio-cultural psychology, process philosophy and German-Scandinavian Critical Psychology, we will argue for understanding this relation as premises for our doing and becoming. We will argue that the concept of premises can help us zoom in on the concrete and emergent instances in which imagination and action are implicated in each other in our ongoing conduct of everyday living. This mutual constitution will be exemplarily illustrated as well as challenged via recently produced empirical material on drug users’ media experiencing. We finally suggest how the concept of premises may help in expanding and specifying current socio-cultural psychological debates on imagination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Dream to Action : Imagination and (Im)Possible Futures
EditorsTatiana Valério, Ana Clara S. Bastos, Luca Tateo
Place of PublicationCharlotte, NC
PublisherInformation Age Publishing
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-1-64802-279-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64802-281-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesAdvances in Cultural Psychology: Constructing Human Development

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