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?
"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