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Resistance within Contexts:A Study of University BBS Youth Culture in China
Unformatted Document Text:  14 dance, join various student communities — although most of them are used to find girlfriends. Then how can we understand these contradictory feelings about university lives? If we compare students’ feeling of ‘pressure’ and ‘pleasure,’ we find that the later is only a temporary ‘escape’ from studies, future destinies, adult lives, and the social realities. So, overall, what does ‘university’ mean to the students? Voodoo: University students don’t know what they want. They may set ‘going abroad’ as their goal, but they totally do not know why they want to go abroad……Ever since the death of ‘idealism’ in Chinese universities in the 1990s, the whole generation of contemporary Chinese university students ‘get lost’. What remain are something very realistic, good jobs, fames, all are related to how to live better than other Chinese people in the future. Higher education means better lives. This is what the social reality tells the students. Thus universities’ obligation is to teach their students about how to survive in a more and more materialistic society. They provide sufficient ‘technical knowledge’ for the students, but they do not tell the students what kind of attitudes they should hold when confronting this materialistic society. The result is the students’ ‘dreary’ feeling about the university, which only provides them a place to study hard for their futures, yet does not create an open and free atmosphere, so that they can think more about their lives, as young people and also as an adult. What are the solutions to all the problems they meet in the universities and in the society? This might be the most important question the students face. The whole society is changing to a more and more individualistic and materialistic one. This is the reality, a reality not existed until these young people go to the universities, taking their first steps into the adult society. When they were children, they needed not think about their future. But when they become university students, they become ‘to-be-adults,’ they have to think about all the questions. Interestingly, under such a situation, some students come to be very critical towards their previous education: Pulpfiction: We were indoctrinated by many traditional values when we were children. You know, the educations from primary schools to high schools received by Chinese children are very repressive. But at that time, you couldn’t feel it at all because you were inside the

Authors: Dong, Dong.
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dance, join various student communities — although most of them are used to find girlfriends.
Then how can we understand these contradictory feelings about university lives? If we
compare students’ feeling of ‘pressure’ and ‘pleasure,’ we find that the later is only a temporary
‘escape’ from studies, future destinies, adult lives, and the social realities. So, overall, what does
‘university’ mean to the students?
Voodoo: University students don’t know what they want. They may set ‘going abroad’ as
their goal, but they totally do not know why they want to go abroad……Ever since the death of
‘idealism’ in Chinese universities in the 1990s, the whole generation of contemporary Chinese
university students ‘get lost’. What remain are something very realistic, good jobs, fames, all
are related to how to live better than other Chinese people in the future.
Higher education means better lives. This is what the social reality tells the students. Thus
universities’ obligation is to teach their students about how to survive in a more and more
materialistic society. They provide sufficient ‘technical knowledge’ for the students, but they do
not tell the students what kind of attitudes they should hold when confronting this materialistic
society. The result is the students’ ‘dreary’ feeling about the university, which only provides them a
place to study hard for their futures, yet does not create an open and free atmosphere, so that they
can think more about their lives, as young people and also as an adult.
What are the solutions to all the problems they meet in the universities and in the society?
This might be the most important question the students face. The whole society is changing to a
more and more individualistic and materialistic one. This is the reality, a reality not existed until
these young people go to the universities, taking their first steps into the adult society. When they
were children, they needed not think about their future. But when they become university students,
they become ‘to-be-adults,’ they have to think about all the questions. Interestingly, under such a
situation, some students come to be very critical towards their previous education:
Pulpfiction: We were indoctrinated by many traditional values when we were children.
You know, the educations from primary schools to high schools received by Chinese children
are very repressive. But at that time, you couldn’t feel it at all because you were inside the


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