This book surveys the explosive youth culture in twenty-first century China, an active and powerful force catalysing cultural innovations, social changes, and collective efforts, re-inventing a pluralistic and multivalent youth (qingnian) in an age of enormous change, division and uncertainty.
Providing a comprehensive analysis of literary, cinematic, musical, televisual, and social media representations about, for and by disparate youth groups, this book seeks to offer a systematic investigation of a trans-medial and multi-locale youth culture. In so doing, it examines contributions from high school dropouts, industrial workers, migrant laborers and "leftover women", as well as best-selling writers and filmmakers, cultural entrepreneurs, queer idols and fans, and young feminist activists. Observing the Chinese youths’ deployment of "small" genres, such as light novels and short videos, in addition to digital media, this book ultimately demonstrates the renewal of cultural forms and the transformative power of networked "small" atomized individuals in reinventing a youthful coalition of silenced, belittled, and marginalized groups.
A thoroughly interdisciplinary study, Youth Economy, Crisis, and Reinvention in Twenty-First-Century China will be useful to students and scholars of Chinese culture and society, as well as Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies and Media Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Youth Culture in Three Keys
2. Youth Economy in the "China Dream": Rise of the Me-Generation Creative Class
3. Against the Proletarian Modernity: Retrotopic Journey and Precariat Subject in Alternative Youth Literature
4. Back to Youth on the Wings of Music: Prosthetic Memories and Sonic Nostalgia for an Unlived Past
5. "We Are Creating a Spokesperson for Ourselves": Queering and Un-queering Young Idols on Networked Small Screens
6. Political Economy of Small: Cross-Cultural and Transmedial Shojo Manga (Girls’ Comics) Aesthetics
Conclusion: Reinventing the Discourse of Hope in an Age of Crisis
Hui Faye Xiao is Associate Professor and Chair of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Kansas, USA. Her publications include Family Revolution: Marital Strife in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Visual Culture (2014).