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Resistance within Contexts:A Study of University BBS Youth Culture in China
Unformatted Document Text:  23 scores means nothing; whether or not you are a ‘niu ren’ in real life means nothing; what your future will be means nothing. The only remaining thing is the nonsensical language style. Conclusion Resistance of youth cultures is always a mooting point, because in today’s fully capitalized societies, resistance seems to lack the authenticity it once had. My research on the BBS youth culture pushes me to further think about the question of resistance. In traditional CCCS approach, youth cultural practices—usually interpreted as ‘subcultures’—were often interpreted as resistance to the dominant or parental culture. Even the word “subculture” itself suggests something innately oppositional: youth attempts to deviate from their parental culture, and to change their subordination status. However, in my case, although the BBS members realize that they are ‘impotent’ in the society controlled by the adults, they have no intentions to make changes of their real-life status. They are simply enjoying the participation in their own BBS community and feel satisfied with being able to temporarily escape from reality. However, under a specific context, I still try to argue that the Chinese university BBS youth culture can be interpreted as resistance. By examining contemporary Chinese sociocultural context, university context and BBS context, I find that resistance should be contextualized. That is we can only place a particular youth culture in a specific contextual and historical moment. When we are concerning the BBS context, we find that BBS is perceived as a free and equal public forum by the student BBSers. However, when the language style has been more and more manifested through some BBSers’ using, it objectifies the distinctions between the youth cultural insiders and outsiders, as well as the low and high status within the culture. Therefore, in the BBS context, this BBS youth culture is apparently a dominant culture there. The second dimension of context is the university. In most Chinese universities, it has been emphasized on material success in society, peer competition, and intellectuals’ critical attitudes toward popular culture. Moreover, students’ social status in the universities is not a dominant one. They have to follow the instructions and educations from their professors in order to make a success in their future lives. Therefore, the language style of A Chinese Odyssey can never be accepted as a ‘right’ way in speaking or writing. In this context, the BBS youth culture has been largely criticized by the intellectuals, who occupy a high social status in the universities. Thus, only in the university context, we can say that this BBS youth culture identifies some levels of

Authors: Dong, Dong.
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23
scores means nothing; whether or not you are a ‘niu ren’ in real life means nothing; what your
future will be means nothing. The only remaining thing is the nonsensical language style.
Conclusion
Resistance of youth cultures is always a mooting point, because in today’s fully capitalized
societies, resistance seems to lack the authenticity it once had. My research on the BBS youth
culture pushes me to further think about the question of resistance. In traditional CCCS approach,
youth cultural practices—usually interpreted as ‘subcultures’—were often interpreted as resistance
to the dominant or parental culture. Even the word “subculture” itself suggests something innately
oppositional: youth attempts to deviate from their parental culture, and to change their
subordination status. However, in my case, although the BBS members realize that they are
‘impotent’ in the society controlled by the adults, they have no intentions to make changes of their
real-life status. They are simply enjoying the participation in their own BBS community and feel
satisfied with being able to temporarily escape from reality. However, under a specific context, I
still try to argue that the Chinese university BBS youth culture can be interpreted as resistance.
By examining contemporary Chinese sociocultural context, university context and BBS context, I
find that resistance should be contextualized. That is we can only place a particular youth culture
in a specific contextual and historical moment.
When we are concerning the BBS context, we find that BBS is perceived as a free and equal
public forum by the student BBSers. However, when the language style has been more and more
manifested through some BBSers’ using, it objectifies the distinctions between the youth cultural
insiders and outsiders, as well as the low and high status within the culture. Therefore, in the BBS
context, this BBS youth culture is apparently a dominant culture there.
The second dimension of context is the university. In most Chinese universities, it has been
emphasized on material success in society, peer competition, and intellectuals’ critical attitudes
toward popular culture. Moreover, students’ social status in the universities is not a dominant one.
They have to follow the instructions and educations from their professors in order to make a
success in their future lives. Therefore, the language style of A Chinese Odyssey can never be
accepted as a ‘right’ way in speaking or writing. In this context, the BBS youth culture has been
largely criticized by the intellectuals, who occupy a high social status in the universities. Thus,
only in the university context, we can say that this BBS youth culture identifies some levels of


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