Abramova S.B. The Way of the Future in the Views of Today’s Youth: Expectations and Fears

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2017.3.12

Sofya B. Abramova

Candidate of Sociological Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Sociology, Institute of Social and Political Sciences,

Ural Federal University

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Prosp. Lenina, 51,620075 Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation

Abstract. The proposed article is devoted to the analysis of one of the most topical issues of contemporary sociology of the youth – teenagers’ view about themselves, their values and their future. Based on the analysis of the personal characteristics of the youngsters of 13-17 years old the processes of selfidentifying and choice of life goals  by  young  people  are  considered.  The  article  raises  the  problem  of  the  vagueness  of  expectations  and uncertainty of life plans of today’s youth. The article presents the characteristic of contradictions of selection process of the youth life orientation  associated as with a complicated structure of the life plans so as with absence of a clear system of indicators of efficiency of socialization in post-industrial society. The basic characteristics of the image of the future (search for subjectivity, reflexivity, emotionality, sense of purpose), key characteristics of desirable and undesirable future are demonstrated. The relationship of the ideas of success and happiness with the values of family, work, self-fulfillment, material well-being, communication is showed. The idea of a desired future often works from the opposite premise and is formulated with “I don’t want to...” and based on the fears and anxieties of youngsters to become useless, lonely, poor, drinkers, like common people, etc. This article uses the materials of in-depth interviews and focus groups carried out among the young  from low-income and wealthy families and children from orphanages at the age of 13-17 years in Ekaterinburg. The results of qualitative research conducted by the author are  supplemented by comparative analysis with quantitative data obtained  by other researchers dealing with close issues. Streotypization and personalization of the views of young people about their future especially in a long-term life plans are revealed. The article demonstrates  manifestation of the phenomenon of “epistemological errors of late modernity” on the example of self-presentation of the youngsters Ekaterinburg, when absolute confidence in their ability to achieve any of their goals leads to gret responsibility for their biography, superexpectations and as a result, strong potential frustrations and inability to adapt to objective reality.

Key words: youngsters, youth, the way of the future, life plans, success, desired future.

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