Young people's orientations to the future: navigating the present and imagining the future

Giulia Carabelli, Dawn Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
246 Downloads (Pure)


This article discusses the findings of the Imagine Sheppey project (2013–2014) which studied how young people are ‘oriented’ towards the future. The aim and approach of the project were to explore future imaginaries in a participatory, experimental, and performative way. Working with young people in a series of arts-based workshops, we intervened in different environments to alter the space as an experience of change – temporal, material, and symbolic. We documented this process visually and made use of the images produced as the basis for elicitation in focus groups with a wider group of young people. In this article we discuss young people's future orientations through the themes of reach, resources, shape, and value. In so doing, we reflect on the paths that our young respondents traced to connect their presents to what is next, what we call their modes of present–future navigation. We explore the qualities and characteristics of their stances within a wider reflection about how young people approach, imagine, and account for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1127
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • future
  • orientation
  • young people
  • visual research


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