Bringing the Future into the Present: Thinking Through Imagined Future Trajectories

  • Lily Lei YeEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies on Chinese Education in a Global Perspective book series (CEGP)


This chapter presents students’ aspirations, dreams, expectations and hopes. It interrogates how participants envision their future narratives and trajectories. I follow the same approach when I present other aspects of students’ narratives. The focus of this chapter is to discuss students’ future outlook and career orientation, which forms the substantial content of the reflexively organised trajectory of the self. The narratives of these participants are defined by choice, agency, reflexivity, uncertainty and dilemma. Individually, each story represents a unique life trajectory; collectively, they challenge the dominant discourse of Chinese international students. Students’ verbal accounts illustrate how they construct reflexively an internally referential future trajectory to support their understanding of “whom” they perceive themselves to be in the present.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Institute of Fashion TechnologyBeijingChina

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