Youth Perceptions of Their Futures, Society, and the Work Landscape: A Psychology of Working Perspective

Maureen E. Kenny*, Rachel Gali Cinamon, Mary Beth Medvide, Galia Ran, Alekzander Davila, Revital Dobkin, Whitney Erby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In recognition of growing economic inequality and rapid transformation in the world of work, we seek to understand how young people perceive their futures to develop career development education that supports both personal goals and promotes social and economic justice. Thirty-six students attending high-performing high schools in the United States (n = 19) and Israel (n = 17) were interviewed to assess their espoused future plans and conceptions of work and society. Consistent with the psychology of working theory, students' plans were reflective of the social, economic, national, and historical contexts in which they are embedded. US and Israeli students expressed optimism and anxieties about their futures, along with recognition of social and economic inequalities and limited motivation and awareness of how to effect social change. The findings are discussed with regard to implications for career development education and the promotion of social and economic justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-823
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Career Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


FundersFunder number
Boston College


    • career counseling
    • future plans
    • psychology of working theory
    • social inequality


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