Negotiating personal and collective futures across diverse social contexts
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AbstractThe way that people perceive of the future influences their actions in the present. Literaturesuggests that often people have hopes for their own personal futures, for example their family and career aspirations, yet remain pessimistic about a collective future both at the local and global scale (Hicks and Holden, 1995). This paper considers the intersections between the personal and collective futures of people from different social contexts. We conclude that connections between personal and collective futures are conceptualised differently according to social context. This paper presents preliminary findings from an in-depth qualitative study located in a regional town of Tasmania, Australia. The study utilised Bourdieus theoretical framework and drew heavily on habitus as a guiding method as well as an interpretative tool. Five focus groups were held across varying social contexts during 2015 and were subject to dialogical analysis. This paper will present themes that were found to be significant for people in negotiating personal and collective futures, including the role of money, social place and power. Further to this, it will problematize the ways in which futures are primarily conceived of as personal and explore some of the ways that peoplenegotiate positive aspirations for themselves with a negative outlook for the world more generally. The implications that disconnection in conceptualisations of personal futures with collective futures has on sustainable development will be discussed.
TypeRefereed Conference Paper