Individual and Generational Futures in the Urban Youth Narratives in St. Petersburg

Individual and Generational Futures in the Urban Youth Narratives in St. Petersburg

Nartova N.A.

Сand. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Research Fellow, Center for Youth Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia

ID of the Article: 9692

This article is a part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE University).

For citation:

Nartova N.A. Individual and Generational Futures in the Urban Youth Narratives in St. Petersburg. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 7. P. 93-104


The focus of the article is on urban educated young people’s perceptions of individual and generational futures. Drawing on perspectives from the sociology of transition to adulthood, the organization of biographies and the generational approach, qualitative interviews collected in 2020 and 2022 with St. Petersburg residents aged 19–25 were analyzed. The study showed that socio-political events lead to a transformation of the generational narrative. The discourse of a bright generation, open to the future, is replaced by heterogeneous types of interpretation of the perspectives of one’s own life and the generation as a whole. Three key narrative modes have been identified in which life experiences have been linked to representations of life perspectives: an ‘absent future’, an ‘adaptive future’ and an ‘normalised future’. As the process of generational change is incomplete, this study captures some moments of dynamic change and raises new questions rather than providing final answers

youth; generation; future; biography; life course; transition to adulthood


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Content No 7, 2023