Younger generations today are confronted with challenges never faced by previous generations before – the halt of economic growth, the collapse of the environment, the re-organization of the world’s economic and political orders, the changes brought upon by fast-developing technology, to name a few. These transformations often fundamentally defy the values and priority established by the old wisdom. Younger generations can no longer succeed (or survive) by simply following the old rules; but the new orders have yet to emerge.
The afflicting dilemma is especially palpable in Confucius societies such as Taiwan, which have emphasized in the importance of a patriarchy- and hierarchy-based tradition. Younger people in these societies are often raised to follow a clear set of value systems from the past but are now faced with uncertain futures – the future not promised by the old values.
As a consequence, this paper aims to explore the images of the future through the eyes of young adults in their early 20s in Taiwan at this junction of change. The results will be derived from in-depth interviews with eight to ten university students regarding their hopes and fears for personal, local, and global futures. It will answer the following questions specifically: How do younger generations see themselves with relation to the society and why; how do younger generations see the future and why; how do they perceive the changes taking place today and how the changes affect their views of the future. Conclusions and implications of the findings will follow.