Youth's Outlook on the Future: A Cross-National Study

Youth's Outlook on the Future: A Cross-National Study

Youth's Outlook on the Future: A Cross-National Study

Youth's Outlook on the Future: A Cross-National Study

Excerpt

No task today could be more important than contributing to the establishment of a firm and enduring peace for all mankind. The implications of failure are too dire to contemplate. We must succeed. All of us are involved in the task, people in all walks of life. Increasingly social scientists are turning to the problems of cross-national communication, understanding, and co-operation as a field for study--not simply for the sake of building or testing hypotheses, but as a means of accumulating more and better information that may help "humanology" overtake "technology" in the race for the future.

Psychologists with concerns beyond their laboratories and clinics have been addressing themselves to the major task of our times for many years, with more or less energy, imagination, and success. But the customary study techniques and research approaches have not lent themselves easily to the problems of cross-national investigations. Financial requirements have often proved a major obstacle to empirical research. Nevertheless, fruitful beginnings have been made in a number of places. Such research, however, still calls for pioneering. Too little experience has been accumulated for scientific workers to be confident of their methodologies and the appropriateness of customary approaches to the novel problems that arise. The limits of confidence, the cautions in interpretation of data, still need much exploration.

In this context of great need and procedural uncertainty, it is a pleasure to discover the present paper by Professors Gillespie and Allport. The authors undertake to explore the attitudes of youth in ten different countries toward their personal lives and future careers. As their report proceeds, new insights appear into the patterning of values and judgments and aspirations and expectancies. Collecting responses from specific samples and carefully analyzing them has made it possible for the authors to avoid glib generalizations and to talk in terms of concrete evidence. Variability within . . .

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