Future of youth
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World Futures Studies Federation 19th World Conference “Futures Generation for Future Generations” 21-24 August 2005 Futures Studies Department Corvinus University of Budapest Pessimistic futures generation for pessimistic future generations or? The younger generation has the future but the older generation has the power (authority) Péter Molnár – Zoltán Vass In this lecture the topic of youth’s future orientation and so-called gap of generations are the references German-Hungarian international representative comparative youth surveys 1984-85, and representative data at the years 1996, 2004. The starting point 15-24 years old youth as status passage was published in Germany and Hungary. The social changes in the last decade have had a dramatic effect on both Hungarian and German society, which is most really represented by university student opinion as well. The latest representative data in print by International Journal of Behavioral Development: Political system change and future- orientation as psychological developmental process. Methodologically we have some common direct attitude scale to measure the future pessimism-optimism and generations’ conflict and we have a common intercultural typology of social status. The university students are showed by intercultural analyses as a most important sub-sample. By the evidence of the article, the civilization theory of Margaret Mead and the future orientation of youth have proved to be a useful principle in interpretation for the common European youth cultural style. Common characteristics can be found in the social development of German and Hungarian youth culture and in the relation of the future-orientation and life feeling of youth about generations conflict. Though, 15-20 years’ retardation can be pointed to in the opinion of youth, which had temporarily disappeared in the time of the political system change. In the 10 year period following the political system change can be observed significant difference in the future-orientation of youth. For the interpretation of Hungarian students data is important to know the following: The modern youth life style and the increase in the number of university students are advantageous for our economic level, which is a result of last decade. 10 percent of cohorts were students in the 80’s and nowadays more than 30 percent. However we want to summarize that, Hungarian youth they think about this process as peripheral participants opposed to Western European’s civilization processes. This comparison can be observed more directly in “Alte-Bundesländer” than in Hungary.