Future Shock Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What will change mean for the people of the future, in Toffler's account?

Change will mean new rules and new roles for people, and he calls the newness itself a disease, future shock.

2. How is future shock different than culture shock?

Culture shock replaces familiar cues with unfamiliar cues, as in foreign travel, but future shock replaces familiar cues with an endless string of unfamiliar cues on a regular basis in a way that does not stop the way culture shock does once people adjust to it.

3. How does future shock manifest?

Future shock is felt as an experience of disorientation, where people don't know what behavior is rational based on the cues they get from their culture.

4. How does the rate of change affect professionals?

The rate of change affects professionals in that they cannot keep up with their fields without devoting an enormous amount of energy to learning new material. Expertise is not enough, people have to keep up on every new development. This makes for short careers and many career changes as people give up on keeping up with their field.

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