The Value of the Generational Perspective



It is generally recognised that in China, ‘considerable attention (is) given to generational issues’ (Yahuda, 1979:794), and this makes a generational perspective all the more relevant. Kwong (1994:249) referred to key social and political factors in recent Chinese history and how they may have affected groups of young people but did not ‘elaborate’ on ‘how these factors shape youth attitudes’. She invoked a generational approach by stressing the importance of the ‘common history’ of Chinese youth who ‘lived through the same major political and social events which shaped their views.’ (op. cit:248). She then concentrated, as in this study, on Deng’s generation who ‘all experienced the more open political and economic climate of the 1980s’. For her purposes, however, a generational perspective was more implicit than explicit but this study was facilitated by drawing directly on Mannheim’s work on generations.


Cultural Revolution Generational Perspective Rural Youth Reform Period Chinese Youth 
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Copyright information

© Ruth Cherrington 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Veliko Turnovo UniversityBulgaria

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