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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Modernization as Lived Experiences: Identity Construction of Three Generations of Young Men and Young Women in China and Norway

Tildelt: kr 5,5 mill.






2011 - 2016

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The project has been drawn upon by Fengshu Liu in interviews concerning Chinese youth in several types of mass media, e.g., The Guardian, NRK radio P2, Aftenposten, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, McClatchy (an American newspaper company), China Files (a Beijing-based editorial agency specializing in in-depth reports and articles from and about China for Latin American media including La Nación, the Argentina?s leading newspaper), and a German news service on China (cannot recall its name). It has also informed her solicited consultancy contributions to some companies (e.g., Flamingo, a global insight and brand consultancy company). In early 2014 the Project director was interviewed and a portrait of her was presented in Det Norske Veritas 'coffee table' book Next: A Safe and sustainable future alongside some 30 others including such personalities as Jørgen Randers, Eva Joly and Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. It may have helped spread awareness of her research. In NRK P2 the Project Director was interviewed in a programme on China's imbalanced sex rate and related gender and youth issues. In early 2016 the project director was invited to be the interviewer and lead commentator at a public meeting with the well-known contemporary Chinese author and journalist Xinran Xue at the Literaturhuset in Bergen. There she asked Xinran critical questions about the latter?s work on gender and the only-child generation, drawing on her own research. Kristin Vasbø has been a consultant to the NRK-series ?Status Norge: Ungdom nå til dags».

It is widely observed that due to the modernizing and globalizing forces, the contexts in which young people in contemporary societies do their ?identity work? differ fundamentally from previous generations, which may have significant implications for int ercultural contact, community building, democracy, civic engagement and social integration, hence the future of our world. However, due to paucity of research, especially comparative studies, it remains unclear how youth are actually negotiating modern id entities within their local contexts, where local socio-cultural dynamics may be interacting with global forces in locally-specific ways. This project will explore identity construction of young men and women in two contrasting societies, China and Norwa y, through a three-generational comparison. In so doing, it will examine generational changes and continuities as well as cross-cultural differences and similarities in young people?s gender conceptions and gender practices in the light of the dynamic int eraction between the local and global cultural forces. It will further explore the implications that the emerging gender identities can have for social relations, citizenship, social inclusion and exclusion, intercultural contact and education. The proje ct adopts a life history approach. Data will be collected by two steps: observation (classroom interaction, learning processes and spare time activities) of boys and girls (18/20-year-olds) in their last year of upper secondary school in the two capital c ities; life history interviews with some of them to be selected based upon the observations. Their parents and grandparents will be interviewed in a similar manner. Document and artifact analysis will also be used. Located at the intersection of youth, g ender, generation, culture and social transformation, this interdisciplinary comparative project will shed light on the changing dynamics of the social relations in the two countries in the globalization era.

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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam