Synopsis of Research in Shanghai (February 3 - March 6)：
Academic works that describes expectations and desires contributes a lot to understanding Chinese new generations’ individual lifestyles, personalities, and desires. However, a lack of ethnographic research gazing into the values and self-evaluation of young people themselves who come of age under Chinese unified national education system still exists. Therefore, Tang proposes to do a master thesis aiming to bridge the represented and visible expectations and aspirations to the values and self-evaluation of Chinese urban youth through interrogating the way they perceive and use the word “success” in daily lives. The expressive meanings of “success” in different contexts (such as schools, family, marital market, media, etc.) to some extent reveal young generations’ imagination of a better life, either accessible or not. Also, besides using by individuals, success is also a word which has been existed so long in Chinese history and is unconsciously connected with middle class anxieties- especially youth and middle age. Shanghai is the second largest city in China and is a proper place for him to conduct interviews with local youth. He would like to take interviews with university students and compare them with students in NYU Shanghai. Also, Shanghai has a really complicated component of population, which provides an ideal field for class and youth study. Tang’s home university (Sichuan University) has good relationships with universities in Shanghai, therefore, they could provide him other help when doing fieldwork in Shanghai. During his time there, there should be Chinese Lunar New Year, which would be a good chance for him to participate in observation in families- he already has informants there.