The category of expectation constitutes an important element of reflection in many scientific disciplines focusing on man. it is treated in both the categories of expectations inscribed in large social projects (e.g. of utopian nature) and individual expectations which build human daily routine. The article is divided into two parts. in the first, the issues of interpersonal expectations, analysed in the perspective of social psychology and sociology, will be undertaken. what will be explored here are the problems of defining the notion of expectation and the problems of expectations at school, which will be exemplified by the pygmalion effect. The first part is completed with some considerations on the meaning of expectation in sociology, the role of expectations in interaction, and the relations between expecting and social order. In the second part, the author focuses on the issues of expectations inscribed in utopian projects (“great expectations”). pedagogical utopias and relations between utopias and popularization of normative (formal) or informal pedagogies are subjected to analysis. The author makes here some references to the concept of post-materialistic society, attempting to elicit relations between this type of society and popularization of nonformal pedagogies.