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Resistance within Contexts:A Study of University BBS Youth Culture in China
Unformatted Document Text:  10 In conclusion, economic reform since the end of the Cultural Revolution provided opportunities for people to make money, but also undermined the traditional socialist ideology (Kwong 1994). Youths are exposed to a plentiful of discourses celebrating consumption. It is undeniable that the young Chinese generation is affected by the new values of individualism, pragmatism and materialism, but when we trace back the course of cultural changes happened in contemporary China, we could see clearly that youth culture is not an idiosyncratic phenomenon. Young people’s activities in celebrating popular culture are in accordance with a more general alienation from politics of the Chinese people. All these indicate that, if we try to interpret the BBS youth culture in the Chinese university-based BBSs as some kind of resistance towards the dominant culture, we must be keep in mind the problematic status of ‘a dominant culture’ in contemporary China. If we do not posit a dominant culture in the society at large, an alternative way to identify the object of resistance would be to examine the more immediate context in which the students live. University Context: Besieged Ivory Tower A Case: Tsinghua University Context I will use Tsinghua University as a good example for exploring questions regarding the students’ immediately living contexts. Tsinghua University is one of the top universities in China, yet its formation is very typical of other Chinese universities. Also, SMTH, the biggest university BBS in China, is established in this university and Tsinghua students are probably be the most active participants in this BBS. Tsinghua University is located in the northwestern corner of the city of Beijing. I first went to this famous high-education institution in summer 2001. What surprised me the most was not the huge campus but the constantly fully occupied classrooms. At that time, Tsinghua students were holding an activity to elect the top-ten students of the university. There were banners and billboards introducing the candidates on the main campus street. All these candidates had splendid accomplishment not only in their academic works but also in areas such as social services, sports, arts, etc. Tsinghua students call these people ‘Niu Ren (Superhuman).’ To me, this activity looks like a typical practice to establish good models for other students to follow. However, to the Tsinghua students themselves, there is a huge amount of pressure involved in this kind of campus

Authors: Dong, Dong.
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10
In conclusion, economic reform since the end of the Cultural Revolution provided
opportunities for people to make money, but also undermined the traditional socialist ideology
(Kwong 1994). Youths are exposed to a plentiful of discourses celebrating consumption. It is
undeniable that the young Chinese generation is affected by the new values of individualism,
pragmatism and materialism, but when we trace back the course of cultural changes happened in
contemporary China, we could see clearly that youth culture is not an idiosyncratic phenomenon.
Young people’s activities in celebrating popular culture are in accordance with a more general
alienation from politics of the Chinese people. All these indicate that, if we try to interpret the BBS
youth culture in the Chinese university-based BBSs as some kind of resistance towards the
dominant culture, we must be keep in mind the problematic status of ‘a dominant culture’ in
contemporary China. If we do not posit a dominant culture in the society at large, an alternative
way to identify the object of resistance would be to examine the more immediate context in which
the students live.
University Context: Besieged Ivory Tower
A Case: Tsinghua University Context
I will use Tsinghua University as a good example for exploring questions regarding the
students’ immediately living contexts. Tsinghua University is one of the top universities in China,
yet its formation is very typical of other Chinese universities. Also, SMTH, the biggest university
BBS in China, is established in this university and Tsinghua students are probably be the most
active participants in this BBS.
Tsinghua University is located in the northwestern corner of the city of Beijing. I first went to
this famous high-education institution in summer 2001. What surprised me the most was not the
huge campus but the constantly fully occupied classrooms. At that time, Tsinghua students were
holding an activity to elect the top-ten students of the university. There were banners and
billboards introducing the candidates on the main campus street. All these candidates had splendid
accomplishment not only in their academic works but also in areas such as social services, sports,
arts, etc. Tsinghua students call these people ‘Niu Ren (Superhuman).’ To me, this activity looks
like a typical practice to establish good models for other students to follow. However, to the
Tsinghua students themselves, there is a huge amount of pressure involved in this kind of campus


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