Sociology of chinese youth

By Laurence Roulleau-Berger, research director at the CNRS and a member of the Triangle laboratory.

Authors: Liang Su and Laurence Roulleau-Berger

In China, a process of compressed socialization of youth is characterized by multiple spatial, professional and social mobilities. Young skilled Chinese move and circulate to improve their qualification and education levels in order to develop upward social mobility’s trajectories. Young low-skilled migrants’ biographic pathways are structured around spatial discontinuities and horizontal social mobilities. In labor markets, the phenomenon of structural disqualification impacts young Chinese and the risk of downward social mobility has affected the young middle-class. Platforms appear as new spaces of commodification and subordination that produce a cybertariat. In Chinese mega-cities, social inequalities and urban boundaries do promote segregation and marginalization, while at the same time, young Chinese entrepreneurs are developing international networks and economic cosmopolitanism. Chinese youth are crossing transnational spaces wherein identities are redefined through a process of cultural creolization.