Cultural story models in making sense of a desired post-corona world

Vilma Hänninen*, Le Anh Nguyen Long, Anneke Sools

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The corona pandemic has been a disruptive event that calls for individual and collective efforts to make sense of the future. This paper aims to delineate the ways in which people from Greece (N = 41) and Finland (N = 18) draw on cultural story models (narrative schemas for organizing knowledge and experiences) to anticipate and make sense of a post-corona future. Personal anticipations of what their own post-corona future lives and the world should look like were collected using the Letters from the Future method. Using structural narrative analysis, five main storylines were discerned: (1) back to normal through human efforts; (2) back to normal through natural course; (3) persisting problems; (4) safety through technology; (5) transformation through profound value change. We argue that the first, return to normal narrative, functions as a master narrative that is countered in nuanced ways by the other four storylines. At a decisive moment in history, we argue that space for counter narratives is required for democratic engagement in shaping our futures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102989
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Counter narratives
  • Covid-19
  • Cultural story models
  • Disruption
  • Letters from the Future
  • Scenario archetypes


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