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Dystopia and disutopia: hope and hopelessness in German pupils’ future narratives

Dystopia and disutopia: hope and hopelessness in German pupils’ future narratives
Dystopia and disutopia: hope and hopelessness in German pupils’ future narratives
Within the academic field of futures in education there has been concern that pupils’ negative and pessimistic future scenarios could be deleterious to their minds. Eckersley (Futures 31:73–90, 1999) argues that pessimism among young people can produce cynicism, mistrust, anger, apathy and an approach to life based on instant gratification. This article suggests that we need to discuss negative and pessimistic future visions in a more profound and complex way since these contain both hope and hopelessness. A pessimistic view of the future does not have to be negative in itself: it can also illustrate a critical awareness of contemporary social order. This article therefore aims to explore hope and hopelessness in young people’s dystopias about the future. Adopting dystopias may open up possibilities, whereas adopting disutopias will only lead one to believe that there are no alternatives to the current dominant model of global capitalism. Even a dystopia that predicts the end of the world as we know it might be the beginning of a world that we have not seen yet.
futures, narratives, dystopia, disutopia, hope, social change
1389-2843
1-23
Nordensvard, Johan
44e3b534-aa45-4124-9680-35e8fb6f2e98
Nordensvard, Johan
44e3b534-aa45-4124-9680-35e8fb6f2e98

Nordensvard, Johan (2014) Dystopia and disutopia: hope and hopelessness in German pupils’ future narratives. Journal of Educational Change, 1-23. (doi:10.1007/s10833-014-9237-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Within the academic field of futures in education there has been concern that pupils’ negative and pessimistic future scenarios could be deleterious to their minds. Eckersley (Futures 31:73–90, 1999) argues that pessimism among young people can produce cynicism, mistrust, anger, apathy and an approach to life based on instant gratification. This article suggests that we need to discuss negative and pessimistic future visions in a more profound and complex way since these contain both hope and hopelessness. A pessimistic view of the future does not have to be negative in itself: it can also illustrate a critical awareness of contemporary social order. This article therefore aims to explore hope and hopelessness in young people’s dystopias about the future. Adopting dystopias may open up possibilities, whereas adopting disutopias will only lead one to believe that there are no alternatives to the current dominant model of global capitalism. Even a dystopia that predicts the end of the world as we know it might be the beginning of a world that we have not seen yet.

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More information

Published date: 9 August 2014
Keywords: futures, narratives, dystopia, disutopia, hope, social change
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 368143
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/368143
ISSN: 1389-2843
PURE UUID: b258e1b3-a54b-4956-af54-ca5ac735b569

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Date deposited: 19 Aug 2014 09:07
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 01:41

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Author: Johan Nordensvard

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