Long-term Future Expectations and Collective Hope
|Kapitola v knize
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|The purpose of this chapter is to extend and explore the definition of collective hope as the shared desire for a better future not only for oneself, but for the entire social community, the belief that a better future for all is possible but not necessarily guaranteed or even likely, and the trust in the human capacity to cooperate and support each other towards the realization of a better world despite current struggles and challenges. Conceptually we chose an interdisciplinary approach, integrating insights from Positive Psychology, Futures Studies, and Pragmatic Hope Philosophy. After introducing the concept of collective hope we present the nature and role of images of the future in terms of probable, possible and desired future trends and scenarios. Based on data collected with the Hope Barometer across 12 countries in November 2019 (N = 10,665), we evaluated people’s long-term future expectations regarding the general quality of life, social trends and expected as well as wished-for future scenarios. We then related these expectations to perceived hope and social well-being. Our results suggest that long-term social expectations are significantly more pessimistic in European than in non-European countries and that personal hope levels are significantly higher in countries outside Europe. Moreover, an overwhelming majority of participants in this study preferred a social-sustainable over an individualist-competitive future scenario. Whereas future prospects had a significant effect on hope and (social) well-being, desirable images of the future hardly displayed an effect. Our findings highlight the importance of encouraging people to develop new positive pictures of the future which could foster hope, belief, and trust in a flourishing and sustainable world and to get engaged in its realization.