Becoming Futurists: Reluctant professionals searching for common ground

Tessa Lianne Cramer

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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From a societal point of view, we attach great importance to the expertise of professionals. For example, the scientists working side-by-side with politicians to settle the corona crisis have been widely praised. According to the classic model of professionalization, societal prestige is acquired, among other things by obtaining the right diplomas. New, emerging professions would also like to professionalise, but do so in their own way. An example are futurists, a professional group engaged in the systematic exploration of possible futures to support decision-making. This dissertation shows that futurists are building a professional community. But while they are doing that work, their discomfort becomes visible - futurists don't live up to the original image of a profession. This dissertation argues that a broader perspective on professionalization is not only possible, but also necessary. In that perspective, professionalization has an open character with room for diversity and connection between different worlds.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van Asselt, Marjolein, Supervisor
  • van Lente, Harro, Supervisor
Award date15 May 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789081843775
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • professionalization
  • futurists
  • future
  • professions
  • sociology
  • STS


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