China’s Youth Cultures and Collective Spaces: Creativity, Sociality, Identity and Resistance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

China’s Youth Cultures and Collective Spaces

Creativity, Sociality, Identity and Resistance, 1st Edition

Edited by Vanessa Frangville, Gwennaël Gaffric


304 pages

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Hardback: 9780367173043
pub: 2019-10-31
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In recent decades, China has experienced unprecedented demographic, political, and socio-economic transitions, and its public spaces have been profoundly altered in design, layout, and management, as well as in their uses. New spaces have since emerged (large avenues, squares, parks, shopping malls, recreation areas, etc.), while non-physical places, like virtual and digital spaces (online social networks, (micro)blogs, shopping platforms, forums…) play a more and more important role in the civil society.

This book, the fruit of the collaborative work of thirteen specialists of contemporary Chinese culture and society from different countries and disciplines, explores the spaces of creation, production and diffusion of "youth cultures", defined broadly as practices and activities that catalyze self-expression and creativity in today’s China among generations born after the 1980s.

Among the areas of research and the cases analyzed, many relate to new practices and places of cultural production rarely studied so far (such as cosplay, cyberliterature, web TV, barrage subtitling, digital calligraphy…).

This book is meant to be a reference not only for contemporary Chinese studies scholars, but also for all those who work on the links between space, youth and culture and wish to question the relevance of existing theories through the singular case of contemporary China.

Table of Contents

Where Wild Grass Grow: Chinese Youth Culture Formation in Physical and Virtual Spaces, Vanessa Frangville and Gwennaël Gaffric

Part 1: Youth culture in Commodified Collective Spaces

1. From Homes to Parks, Shopping Malls and Theatres – Trajectory of Spatial Swift in Chinese Erciyuan Cosplay Practices, Hua Bin

2. From Tian’anmen Square to Grand Palais in Paris: The Shifting Spirit in the Commodification of Rock in the PRC, Peng Lei

3. Can China have its hip hop? Negotiating the Boundaries between Mainstream and Underground Youth Cultural Spaces on the Internet Talent Show Rap of China, Jingsi Christina Wu

Part 2: Spaces of Sociability

4. Spaces of Youth Cultural Production in Rural China, Adam Chau

5.The Sociability of Millennials in Cyberspace: A Comparative Analysis of Barrage Subtitling in Nico Nico Douga and bilibili, Seio Nakajima

6. Representations of Sociability in Public Spaces in the Uyghur Web Series Anar Pishti: Resilience, Resistance and Reinvention, Vanessa Frangville

Part 3: Spaces of Social Engagement

7. Masked Demonstrations: Deploying Creative Tactics to Protest Air Pollution, Elizabeth Brunner

8. Chinese LGBT+ Activism – Playing, Organizing and Playful Resistance, Stijn Deklerck

9. Struggling around the politics of recognition: the formation of communities of interpretations and of emotions among a collective of migrant workers in 21st Century China, Eric Florence

Part 4: Traveling in Space-Time

10. Collective Space/Time Travel in Chinese Cyberliterature, Gwennaël Gaffric

11. Back to the Future with Chinese characteristics: the case of Han Han’s Duckweed retro sci-fi, Corradi Neri

12. "We are not like the calligraphers of ancient times". A study of young calligraphy practitioners in contemporary China, Laura Vermeeren and Jeroen De Kloet

Afterthoughts: Rethinking the Spatial Politics of Presence in China’s Youth Culture, Lisa Richaud

About the Editors

Vanessa Frangville is Senior Lecturer at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). She holds a Chair in Chinese Studies and is Director of EASt, the ULB’s research centre on East Asia. She is also the main coordinator of a research project on Youth and Public Spaces in East Asia. She was previously Lecturer at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zeland. Amongst her latest publications are: a book chapter in P. Voci and Luo H., Screening China’s Soft Power, published with Routledge in 2017; and several articles in peer-reviewed journal such as Journal of Chinese Cinema, Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, China Perspectives and Latse Journal.

Gwennaël Gaffric is Associate Professor at the University of Lyon 3 Jean Moulin (France), where he teaches Chinese literature and Chinese cultural history. He is member of the Institute of Transtextual and Transcultural Studies of the University of Lyon 3 and vice-president of the French Association of Taiwan Studies. He was previously postdoctoral research fellow at the ULB and member of the GENEsYs project on Youth and Public Spaces in East Asia. His has translated several Chinese, Taiwanese and Hongkongese novels and short stories into French and published a dozen of articles in peer-reviewed journals.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Asian Societies

Routledge Contemporary Asian Societies provides an original and distinctive contribution to current debates on evolutions shaping societies, cultures, politics and media across North and South East Asia. It is interdisciplinary in its approach and the editors welcome proposals across the social sciences and humanities; from political, social, cultural and economic studies to gender, media, literature, anthropology, philosophy and religion.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies