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Resistance within Contexts:A Study of University BBS Youth Culture in China
Unformatted Document Text:  19 To avoid teasing, people who had never seen the film might be forced to see it. An extreme example is Tsinghua University. The Student Union organizes the freshmen to see the film every year. Therefore, college students face pressures of accepting the film’s language in both the BBSs and the campus contexts. But most of the interviewees claimed that they use the film’s language in the BBSs more frequent than they do in real life. An interviewee explained: Pulpfiction: In real life, there are many other ways to communicate, while in the BBSs language is very fundamental. In real life, talking is only one way for people to interact with each other. But in the BBSs, people’s relationships are based totally on textual communication. The language styles they use represent their identities and personalities. Consequently the appropriate film language becomes a distinction between the BBSers and non-BBSers. Therefore, in the BBS context, this BBS youth culture is apparently a dominant culture there. Then the questions are: if this BBS youth culture can only be observed in the BBS context, then can we interpret it as a certain form of resistance? University BBS Youth Culture as Resistance In my research, I find that two main forces that the students have to oppose to: 1) the intellectuals, most of whom live within the universities, whose attitudes towards popular culture, towards contemporary Chinese youths, and towards this specific style bring them into opposition to the youth, and 2) the future adult lives, regarded by the students as predestined to be hard and ‘dreary,’ and would not be changed by merely having ‘high education.’ Resist Orthodox Ideas As I have discussed earlier, Chinese intellectuals’ attitudes towards popular culture are highly critical. In most Chinese universities, there are no curriculums on popular culture and no evidences that they will be setup in the near future (Li 1999). We can say that intellectuals look down upon popular cultures. They believe in traditional values and hold on to traditional aesthetic judgments. They regard literary works as worthy readings and despise television, commercial movies, popular music, and even the Internet. For example, read the words of Wang (2000: 22): In the 1990s, Chinese people’s spiritual lives have become more and more vulgaristic. Other than money and fashions, they are interested in nothing else. They don’t read poems,

Authors: Dong, Dong.
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19
To avoid teasing, people who had never seen the film might be forced to see it. An extreme
example is Tsinghua University. The Student Union organizes the freshmen to see the film every
year. Therefore, college students face pressures of accepting the film’s language in both the BBSs
and the campus contexts. But most of the interviewees claimed that they use the film’s language in
the BBSs more frequent than they do in real life. An interviewee explained:
Pulpfiction: In real life, there are many other ways to communicate, while in the BBSs
language is very fundamental.
In real life, talking is only one way for people to interact with each other. But in the BBSs,
people’s relationships are based totally on textual communication. The language styles they use
represent their identities and personalities. Consequently the appropriate film language becomes a
distinction between the BBSers and non-BBSers. Therefore, in the BBS context, this BBS youth
culture is apparently a dominant culture there. Then the questions are: if this BBS youth culture
can only be observed in the BBS context, then can we interpret it as a certain form of resistance?
University BBS Youth Culture as Resistance
In my research, I find that two main forces that the students have to oppose to: 1) the
intellectuals, most of whom live within the universities, whose attitudes towards popular culture,
towards contemporary Chinese youths, and towards this specific style bring them into opposition
to the youth, and 2) the future adult lives, regarded by the students as predestined to be hard and
‘dreary,’ and would not be changed by merely having ‘high education.’
Resist Orthodox Ideas
As I have discussed earlier, Chinese intellectuals’ attitudes towards popular culture are highly
critical. In most Chinese universities, there are no curriculums on popular culture and no evidences
that they will be setup in the near future (Li 1999). We can say that intellectuals look down upon
popular cultures. They believe in traditional values and hold on to traditional aesthetic judgments.
They regard literary works as worthy readings and despise television, commercial movies, popular
music, and even the Internet. For example, read the words of Wang (2000: 22):
In the 1990s, Chinese people’s spiritual lives have become more and more vulgaristic.
Other than money and fashions, they are interested in nothing else. They don’t read poems,


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