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.

chapter |17 pages


Where wild grass grow: Chinese youth culture formation in physical and virtual spaces
ByVanessa Frangville, Gwennaël Gaffric

part Part I|1 pages

Youth culture in commodified collective spaces

chapter 2|15 pages

From Tian’anmen Square to Grand Palais in Paris

The shifting spirit in the commodification of Rock in the PRC
ByPeng Lei

chapter 3|17 pages

Can China have its hip hop?

Negotiating the boundaries between mainstream and underground youth cultural spaces on the Internet talent show Rap of China
ByJingsi Christina Wu

part Part II|1 pages

Spaces of sociability

chapter 4|23 pages

Spaces of youth cultural production in rural China 1

ByAdam Yuet Chau

chapter 5|18 pages

The sociability of Millennials in cyberspace

A comparative analysis of barrage subtitling in Nico Nico Douga and Bilibili 1
BySeio Nakajima

chapter 6|17 pages

Representations of sociability in public spaces in the Uyghur web series Anar Pishti

Resilience, resistance, and reinvention
ByVanessa Frangville

part Part III|1 pages

Spaces of social engagement

chapter 7|15 pages

Masked demonstrations

Deploying creative tactics to protest air pollution
ByElizabeth Brunner

chapter 8|20 pages

Chinese LGBT+ activism—playing, organizing, and playful resistance

ByStijn Deklerck

chapter 9|17 pages

Struggling around the politics of recognition

The formation of communities of interpretations and of emotions among a collective of migrant workers in twenty-first century China
ByEric Florence

part Part IV|1 pages

Traveling in space–time

chapter 10|14 pages

Collective space/time travel in Chinese cyberliterature

ByGwennaël Gaffric

chapter 11|16 pages

Traveling back in our parent’s time

Han Han’s Duckweed
ByCorrado Neri

chapter 12|16 pages

“We are not like the calligraphers of ancient times”

A study of young calligraphy practitioners in contemporary China *
ByLaura Vermeeren, Jeroen de Kloet

chapter 13|13 pages

Concluding remarks

Afterthoughts: rethinking the spatial politics of presence in China’s youth culture
ByLisa Richaud