This study has two main aims: (a) to explore young men's and women's hopes and dreams for the future and (b) in so doing to explore the utility of a story-writing method. It is argued here that when identity is conceptualized as a life story, researchers need to consider story-writing methods in their investigations of identity formation. Three methods were used to compare findings from the story-telling method with more traditional methods, in this case an interview and a questionnaire. This research revealed that the story-writing method was useful for a variety of reasons. It provided rich data that generated themes that were taken up by the following methods. Moreover, it was more successful than the other methods at bringing to light participants' ideal selves.Peer-reviewedPost-prin
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