Book release : China’s Youth Culture and Collective Spaces

East is proud to report the release of  China’s Youth Cultures and Collective Spaces : Creativity, Sociality, Identity and Resistance, edited by Vanessa Frangville and Gwennaël Gaffric.

Presenting the collaborative work of 13 international specialists of contemporary Chinese culture and society, this book explores the spaces of creation, production, and diffusion of « youth cultures » in China among generations born since the 1980s.

Defining the concept of « youth culture » as practices and activities that catalyze self-expression and creativity, this book investigates the emergence of new physical spaces, including large avenues, parks, shopping malls, and recreation areas. Building on this, it also examines the influence of non-physical places, especially digital cultures, such as online social networks, shopping platforms, Cosplay, cyberliterature, and digital calligraphy and argues that these may in fact play a more significant role in Chinese civil society today.

As an exploration of how youth can be creative even in a coercive environment, China’s Youth Cultures and Collective Spaces will be valuable to students and scholars of Chinese society, as well those working on the links between space, youth, and culture.

This volume is the first of our Routledge Contemporary Asian Societies Collection that provides an original and distinctive contribution to current debates on evolutions shaping societies, cultures, politics and media across North and South East Atsia. It is interdisciplinary in its approach and the editors welcome proposals across the social sciences and humanities; from political, social, cultural and economic studies to gender, media, literature, anthropology, philosophy and religion.

This edited volume is the outcome of an ongoing research project on “Youth and Public Spaces in East Asia” (ARC/GENEsYs), started in 2016 at EASt, research center on East Asia at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium.

The main objective of the GENEsYs project is to examine the relationship between the construction of youth identity and public spaces in East Asia. It seeks to understand how public spaces shape East Asian youth identity, how youth use public spaces, what the practices and strategies of appropriation are, and how the active presence of youth in public spaces influences the negotiation of beliefs, values and memory in terms of continuity and change, and shapes collective identities.

More on the GENEsYs project and team