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This paper contributes to our knowledge of young people and their views of the future. Although studies of young people have examined how young people think about their future in terms of their goals (most often their career objectives), there is little work that unpacks how young people give meaning to the idea of ‘hope’ in their lives. This study provides additional insight into what young people hope for in the future, their ideas about what the notion of hope is, and how they construct meaning about the importance of hope in thinking about their future. The analytic focus on the multiple ways that young people were invited to express their ideas about hope deepens our understanding of the importance of hope in their lives. Young people in this project see four key roles for hope in their lives: as a source of goals and happiness; as enabling the pursuit of their goals; as an asset to draw on when much else is lost; and a necessary part of living: ‘a live without hope is no life at all’. Further, young people see hope as integrally linked with social support – that the actions of others can be a barrier or a facilitator of hope.

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Journal Article

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