ERIC Number: ED195488
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Future of Adolescents.
Buchen, Irving H.
This paper summarizes various theories of youth activism and makes a projection of what adolescence may be like by the year 2000. The major objective is to aid social scientists and futurists as they attempt to interpret the role of youth in social and cultural change. The hypothesis is that observation and analysis of recent and contemporary adolescent behavior, values, and attitudes can provide insights into the future because adolescents embody the future in the present. This hypothesis is based largely on analysis of youth activism in the 1960s. Specific predictions about adolescents in the near future include that they will be fewer in number in the United States than in many other countries, will continue to be more of a visual and oral than a writing and arithmetic generation, and will be increasingly influenced by technological advancements. Major factors that will shape adolescents by the year 2000 include: globally the population will be younger, the length of adolescence will increase in industrialized societies, schools will develop more alternative educational programs, society will become more computer oriented, and increasing conformity in business and government will be offset by considerable pluralism in culture and morality. The conclusion is that, although forecasters disagree about whether recent youth rebellions were revolutionary or counter-revolutionary in nature, they generally agree that (1) we are in the midst of a social transformation which will alter future life and values, (2) youth is largely responsible for releasing the great futuristic debate in America, (3) technology will be at the center of social transformation, and (4) the preeminence of the United States is not guaranteed by the year 2000. (DB)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Cohort Analysis, Cultural Context, Cultural Traits, Demography, Elementary Secondary Education, Futures (of Society), Generation Gap, Global Approach, Higher Education, Literature Reviews, Nontraditional Education, North American Culture, Prediction, Social Change, Social Environment, Social Science Research, Social Structure, Technological Advancement, Theories, Trend Analysis, Values
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Global Conference on the Future (1st, Toronto, Canada, July 21, 1980). Not available from EDRS in paper copy due to fading ink type throughout original document.