Urban Youth in China: Modernity, the Internet and the Self (completed)

Both youth and the Internet hold the potential to bring about, or at least contribute to, far-reaching social change. How, then, are Chinese youth, members of the only-child generation who will most likely be playing a pivotal role in China’s future, interacting with the Internet?

About the project

This project addresses the question by exploring urban youth’s narratives against the backdrop of dramatic socio-cultural transformation in post-Mao China. It covers a range of themes pertinent to understanding China’s younger generation and their society, such as social-cultural changes and continuities, youth culture, the Internet and Net cafés as social-cultural spaces, intergenerational relationship, the Internet and the formal educational system, the Internet and political participation, and the discursive construction of the Chinese Internet both from a Chinese and a Western perspective. The book brings together youth, the Internet, generation, culture, modernity and identity and it provides theorizing of the self within modernity from a Chinese perspective

The data for this project were collected both ‘offline’ and ‘online’ involving three main methods: interviews, observation and online content analysis. Altogether, the project has involved 163 participants and 10 months’ online observation and three weeks’ offline observation.


The project has been jointly funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR), the Institute of Educational Research (PFI), at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Non-fiction Writers and Translators Association (NFF).

Time Framework

The book is scheduled to be published in December 2010 by Routledge.

Research category

Basic research

Published Oct. 13, 2010 3:10 PM - Last modified Mar. 23, 2015 2:11 PM