The aim of this project was to explore how perceptions of global threats concerning the economy, security or the environment may be impacting on young adults’ views about their futures, including being a partner and becoming a parent. This research sits alongside the other larger-scale projects exploring household formation and fertility.
Through 35 semi-structured interviews with childless young adults, aged 20 -29 in further education, higher education or employment, the following issues were addressed:
Young adults main concerns about the future particularly focussed on employment, career prospects, and housing. In some cases, plans and planning could be summed up as a sense of delayed future. The main emergent theme was the impact of uncertainty and lack of economic security associated with recession. However, responses were tempered by family cultures as well as objective circumstances.
Car mobility, like parenting and, in some cases, partnering, was typically seen as temporarily on hold; a family, house and car in the suburbs remained a common ideal imagined future without reference to carbon footprint. At the same time, willingness to rethink circumstances and housing suitable for a family was also occasionally in evidence.
Security issue almost never surfaced as a concern but climate change, sustainability and the environment did sometimes intrude into imagined futures.
|9 May 2011||Presentation at the "New Researchers Conference" held at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships||Emma Rawlins presented her paper ‘“They’re all in the same boat as me and it’s sinking really fast”: Young People’s Support in a Time of Global Uncertainty’ at this event.|
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