Future Shock Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Future Shock.
This section contains 551 words
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Future Shock Summary & Study Guide Description

Future Shock Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Future Shock by Alvin Toffler.

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler discusses change and what happens to people; how they do and don't adapt. Even though the book was first published in 1970, it is certainly appropriate for the changes of the age of technology. The book was written about the future and that future is now. Massive changes result in stress and disorientation, especially when these changes take place in a short period of time. Man must cope with these changes and Toffler's point is that there isn't much known about the mechanisms for coping and adaptability. Toffler attempts to study these mechanisms in the book.

Toffler's point is that the tactics of the past will not be successful in the future. If future shock is to be avoided, society must control the accelerating thrust and must must make plans for the future and the changes it will bring. There should be studies of the different scenarios that might exist in the future and the effects these scenarios will have on values and lifestyles. Different models and simulations allow people to study future scenarios and to try out different lifestyles. Without some kind of preparation and control, society will not be able to deal with the future and will suffer from future shock. It is not necessary for future shock to take place if the proper measures are taken.

Much of the book consists of the results of various research studies with a paragraph of two devoted to each. Many of these studies deal with man's ability to change and reaction to change. The various changes experienced in life produce stress and this leads to a strain on the body's defense mechanisms and results in illness. There is a certain amount of change that men can handle and this is called the adaptive range. If the amount of change is below this level, the result is boredom and people seeking more excitement in life. If the level of change is above the adaptive range, man's coping mechanism breaks down and the result is destruction and irrationality. This is what Toffler says future shock will consist of if society does not develop methods to deal with the changes.

Toffler does a good job in explaining how and why people select the lifestyles that they select. Adherence to a particular lifestyle makes the individual a member of a subcult and cuts down on the number of choices and decisions the individual has to make.- It avoids the problems of over-selection and over-stimulation. Major life decisions occur when the individual changes his lifestyle. This involves having to confront all of the choices involved in the selection of a new lifestyle with a new set of values to adopt.

A large portion of the book is devoted to the study of relationships, with the five major kinds of relationships being defined and discussed. The result of change is a shortening of the different relationship with a shift from permanence to impermanence. Relationships are now characterized by transience. This causes a change in values and places a greater strain on man to adopt.

Even through future Shock was first published in 1970, it is interesting reading and very relevant to today's world of rapid technological changes. Readers will find the time spent reading the book to be worthwhile.

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This section contains 551 words
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