Lili Lin obtained a PhD in Cultural Studies and is a postdoctoral fellow at a Chinese university. Her research interests include cultural studies, gender studies, and popular culture. Her latest publication is ‘Blurring Life and Work: The Predicament of Young Middle-Class Women in Shanghai’, published in Cultural Studies in 2021.

Disarticulating Qingnian

Chinese Youth beyond ‘Rising Tides’ and ‘Lying Flat’

This essay explores youth in today’s China by analysing Bilibili’s widely viewed Rising Tides video and the recent ‘lying flat’ campaign. To put these two phenomena in context, the essay examines a group of young students who are able to move beyond the confines of the position designated them by the state and the market through knowledge accumulation, cooperation, and network-building, but unable to become an autonomous social force.

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