As formal school education is taken increasingly seriously, young people are being removed both from gainful employment and from the home. The shift in values derived from increased exposure to education produces acute conflicts between the young and their parents. For example, sometimes the young people in rural communities feel they are entitled to as much leisure time as those in more urban areas, yet when they come home from school they are expected to do a number of household chores; and as the conflict increases, the means of discipline demand more attention - old-style school discipline may have been harsh or physically harmful. The result is that, while providing up-to-date education for its young people, communities lack local social forms for involving them in community areas broader than formal schooling. Communities waver between upholding old expectations and rapidly advancing into a modern style. The combination of a vacillating set of social expectations and the young person's feeling of being stifled by generational differences contributes to many young people leaving home for additional training or employment. Unless this trend is curbed the future development of local communities will be deprived of vigour and vision.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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