Youth Futures: Comparative Research and Transformative Visions

By Jennifer Gidley; Sohail Inayatullah | Go to book overview

Chapter 19
Youth, Scenarios, and Metaphors
of the Future

Sohail Inayatullah

While other chapters in this book present nation-based case studies, mainly from Australia, this chapter develops insights based on studies around the world. Most of the case studies presented here involved the teaching of futures studies to young people and explored how they imagine their preferred futures and the type of alternative futures they see emerging. These case studies should be seen as indicative instead of conclusive.


CASE STUDY 1: UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE
CENTER FOR EUROPEAN STUDIES

The first case study is based on a sample of ten students attending a month-long intensive course on civilization and the future. The course was held June 1999 at the Center for European Studies, University of Trier, Germany. After a four-week introduction to critical and multicultural futures studies, the following scenarios emerged.


Community/Organic Futures

The first and most popular scenario was the community/organic. In this scenario, young people move away from the chemical corporate way of life and search for community-oriented alternatives. Local currency networks, organic farming, shared housing, and other values and programs favored by the counterculture are preferred. Dioxin contamination in Belgium (with similar scares in the future even more likely) could lead to quite dramatic changes away from artificial, pesticide-laden, and genetic foods in the long run. These young people imagine a community household system in which goods and services were shared. However, one participant imagined Europe not within the urban/community dichotomy but

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