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High school students' orientation to the future Brain, Alan Richard Leonard

Abstract

The problem is how young people of high school age orient themselves to the future in the light of the theoretical presupposition that such an orientation is a crucial one to the development of identity during adolescence. Fourteen students in a Vancouver high school are interviewed in considerable depth to ascertain primarily how they are so oriented and, more generally, other aspects of their overall outlook. A comparison is made between these findings and those of several earlier studies of approximately ten years ago. While the reasons why the two sets of data may not be exactly comparable are stated, certain conclusions from the data about social change during this period are put forward. The claim is made that a new ideology has developed in this time that did not exist at all among young people previously, and an attempt is made to explicate this ideology as much as possible — drawing on the data of the tape-recorded interviews. A model of cultural change whereby new ideologies are adopted in society is suggested, and the prediction is put forward that the new ideology will spread more among high school students in the near future with significant consequences for the wider society. Finally the effect of all this on the process of adolescent development in society is discussed. It is suggested that this process is crucially linked to social conditions and that at the present time, and because of the above, in contrast to a decade ago it is now much more possible to undergo the full process of adolescence.

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