Youth Cultures in China
Youth Cultures in China

What does it mean to be young in a country that is changing so fast? What does it mean to be young in a place ruled by one Party, during a time of intense globalization and exposure to different cultures?

This fascinating and informative book explores the lives of Chinese youth and examines their experiences, the ways in which they are represented in the media, and their interactions with old and, especially, new media. The authors describe and analyse complex entanglements with family, school, workplace and the state, engaging with the multiplicity of Chinese youth cultures. Their case studies include, among others, the differences between migrant workers who move to Shenzhen to work in a factory and their affluent urban peers, and the romantic fantasies articulated by pop idols in TV dramas in contrast with young students working hard for their entrance exams and dream careers.

This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of youth culture, the sociology of youth and China studies more broadly. By showing how Chinese youth negotiate these regimes by carving out their own temporary spaces — from becoming a Goldfarmer in a virtual economy to performing as a Cosplayer — this book ultimately poses the question: Will the current system be able to accommodate this rapidly increasing diversity?

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More Info
  • November 2016
  • 240 pages
  • 150 x 210 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745679174
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9780745679181
  • Open eBook $22.95
  • 9781509512980
Table of Contents




Introduction: Youth in China

Chapter 1: Youth and Power: Education, Family, and the State

Chapter 2: Dressing up the Future: Chinese Youth Today

Chapter 3: Localization of Regional Culture

Chapter 4 Chinese Heteronormativity and Its Discontents

Chapter 5: Mobility, Marginalization and Desire

Conclusion: Youth and Hope


About the Author
Jeroen de Kloet is Professor in Globalization Studies and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS) at the University of Amsterdam
Anthony Y. H. Fung is Professor and Director of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
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“Jeroen de Kloet and Anthony Y. H. Fung provide a sophisticated and erudite account of how appropriations and localisations of international digital technologies, music trends and fashion styles enable Chinese youth to experiment with 'spontaneous' and 'unpredictable' identities and embodiments as they navigate through cultural spaces [… They] surmise that Chinese youth can think, feel and act imaginatively and critically so as to anticipate and aspire to a politics of the future as difference […] which could have political consequences in years to come.”
Journal of Contemporary Asia

"Using an innovative methodology including interviews and ethnographic studies, the authors have given us a complex study of youth cultures. They do an excellent job of examining important and understudied issues as such as media representations of youth in contemporary popular and digital culture."
Stanley Rosen, University of Southern California

"In this interrogation of the multiplicity of youth cultures in China, the authors ditch familiar stereotypes of China’s youth to explore how young urban people are charting challenging paths for China’s future. Based largely on ethnographic research, this book will appeal to non-specialist readers as well as students of contemporary Chinese culture and society."
Harriet Evans, University of Westminster

"Don’t look for revolution among young people. At least not in China… Younger generations escape simplifications and unidimensional visions… but they make for ‘an important prism to analyze what is going on in China today’."
Corriere della Sera: La Lettura

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