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'Three Represents' and China's Youth: Using the Internet to Manage Social Change
Unformatted Document Text:  11 affects the young the most because of their functional need to adopt individualistic values to compete in the new China and the underlying pressure from their cultural heritage (promoted by family and government), which defines how they should act. As a result, popular contemporary Chinese literature, like Wei’s work, run deep with cynicism and despair at the all the embracing and unsympathetic materialism it depicts as invading China’s social existence (Weber, 2002b, p. 365). For example: Time’s high-speed train whistled and rumbled through modern tower blocks in the distance. My tears meant nothing. The joys and sorrows of any one person meant nothing, because the train’s massive steel wheels never stop spinning for anyone. This is the secret that terrifies everyone in this fucking materialistic age (Wei, 2001, p. 187). Resulting from these shifting lines of acceptable behaviours and forms of expression is seen as youth rebellion, which raises the potential for a disabling force in Chinese society. As a result of feeling politically threatened, censors focus sharply on the cultural domain with authorities labeling authors, such as Wei, ‘decadent’, ‘debauched’ and ‘pornographic’. Such criticism places the Government in a precarious position. It cannot be scene to be endorsing excessive youth behaviour as depicted in books like Shanghai Baby. However, the decision to ban such books serves only to highlight the growing concern authorities have over their lack of control relating to contemporary management of social change and youth development in China (Weber, 2002b, p. 355). Spiritually, Chinese youth are experiencing a void, despite attempts by the government to re- establish Chinese consciousness through its spiritual civilisation program. It has no model to follow with the system encouraging them to capitalize on the situation and make money, yet no provision for how to balance these material excesses in a system that does not recognise liberalization of self-expression (Weber, 2002b, p. 365). To better cater for changing youth development structures, values and roles in modern China, the Government built on the initial spiritual culture framework, focusing social change initiatives on addressing emerging cultural ruptures as evidenced in the new forms of literary expression. This new strategy of youth development and change has moved from a directive, top- down approach to a more consultative, interactive approach found under the banner of the Three Represents Theory.

Authors: Weber, Ian.
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11
affects the young the most because of their functional need to adopt individualistic values to
compete in the new China and the underlying pressure from their cultural heritage (promoted by
family and government), which defines how they should act. As a result, popular contemporary
Chinese literature, like Wei’s work, run deep with cynicism and despair at the all the embracing and
unsympathetic materialism it depicts as invading China’s social existence (Weber, 2002b, p. 365). For
example:
Time’s high-speed train whistled and rumbled through modern tower blocks in the distance.
My tears meant nothing. The joys and sorrows of any one person meant nothing, because
the train’s massive steel wheels never stop spinning for anyone. This is the secret that
terrifies everyone in this fucking materialistic age (Wei, 2001, p. 187).
Resulting from these shifting lines of acceptable behaviours and forms of expression is seen
as youth rebellion, which raises the potential for a disabling force in Chinese society. As a result of
feeling politically threatened, censors focus sharply on the cultural domain with authorities labeling
authors, such as Wei, ‘decadent’, ‘debauched’ and ‘pornographic’. Such criticism places the
Government in a precarious position. It cannot be scene to be endorsing excessive youth behaviour
as depicted in books like Shanghai Baby. However, the decision to ban such books serves only to
highlight the growing concern authorities have over their lack of control relating to contemporary
management of social change and youth development in China (Weber, 2002b, p. 355).
Spiritually, Chinese youth are experiencing a void, despite attempts by the government to re-
establish Chinese consciousness through its spiritual civilisation program. It has no model to
follow with the system encouraging them to capitalize on the situation and make money, yet
no provision for how to balance these material excesses in a system that does not recognise
liberalization of self-expression (Weber, 2002b, p. 365).
To better cater for changing youth development structures, values and roles in modern
China, the Government built on the initial spiritual culture framework, focusing social change
initiatives on addressing emerging cultural ruptures as evidenced in the new forms of literary
expression. This new strategy of youth development and change has moved from a directive, top-
down approach to a more consultative, interactive approach found under the banner of the Three
Represents Theory.


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