RIP Alvin Toffler, sociologist of the future

I first read Alvin Toffler’s books Future Shock (1970), The Third Wave (1980) and Powershift” (1990), the last two co-authored with his wife Heidy Toffler, in an samizdat-type Bulgarian translation in 2000, as a first year student at the Sofia University. The Tofflers may have exaggerated the extent to which people are experiencing a “shock of the future” and the acceleration of a post-industrial society, and some of his claims were controversial, but they were bold, well argued and inspiring. And even though at the turn of the century they were already a bit dated, those were important books and I’m glad to have read them. My course was in European Studies, but the Tofflers’ critical discussion of contemporary society was among my first windows onto sociology and contributed to it later becoming my chosen direction. Sadly, Alvin Toffler passed away on 27 June.

Alvin Toffler’s obituary in the New York Times

Categories: Rethinking The World, Social Theory, Sociological Craft, Sociologists of Crisis

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