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Change and Continuity

The question of how to understand change and continuity is fundamental to every field of enquiry. This research theme starts from the assumption that we need to understand change and continuity together. There are well-developed approaches in philosophy, social and cultural theory that explore the inter-relationship between change and continuity, including complexity theory, topological theory and process theory.

This research theme makes use of these theories with a wide range of methods to explore how change and continuity take place across a number of fields.

Members of CIM are currently exploring different approaches to the study of continuity and change, including:

    1. Developing a topological analysis of how different kinds of change and continuity are accomplished in social practice by looking at processes of ordering, sequencing, tracking and comparing, and the implications of change and continuity for social life. (Celia Lury)

      2. Exploring change and continuity in relation to complexity theory, investigating how we might use: a) patterns, b) classifications and categories, and c) form, to build up empirical descriptions of d) configurations of ‘absence and presence’, so as to e) allow us to explore the changing and non-changing propensities of multiple possible futures (made in the emergent present) and control parameters over time and space across multiple scales. (Emma Uprichard)

        3. Developing a synthetic analysis of spatial stories as expressions of continuity and change and investigating how we order our daily lives through movement and stillness, as well as how spatial stories are medium/technology-specific. (Sybille Lammes)