Change of Chinese Values Across     Different Generations
Importance of value                                 Shared                                      devotion                  ...
1. Generational attitudes on Authority     Obey authority                        Suspect authority                   Chall...
2. Generational attitudes on Individuality                                                                                ...
3. Generational attitudes on Interpersonal Relationships Devotion & Sacrifice                      Selfish & Selflessness ...
4. Generational attitudes on Gender                                 Conventional gender values                            ...
5. Generational attitudes on Love and Marriage                                                   Marriage = Love          ...
6. Generational attitudes on Fashion                                                                                      ...
7. Generational attitudes on Models and Idols                                                                             ...
8. Generational attitudes on Popular Culture                                         Prefers classics                     ...
9. Generational attitudes on Equality                                  Equality in human interaction                      ...
10. Generational attitudes on Adulthood                              From children to teenagers to adults                 ...
11. Generational attitudes on Friendship and Belonging    Made friends through geography and special occasions            ...
12. Generational attitudes on Desire for Control                                                Sharing                   ...
13. Generational attitudes on Society                               Equality, harmony, and simplicity                     ...
14. Generational attitudes on Money                                                           Longing for materialism     ...
15. Generational attitudes on Information Reception                                               Digesters               ...
16. Generational attitudes on Creativity                        Uniform & consolidated                                    ...
17. Generational attitudes on Entertainment                            Unadorned                                          ...
18. Generational attitudes on Product Preferences                                               Different things, differen...
19. Generational attitudes on Loftiness                                                         Loftiness with exceptions ...
20. Generational attitudes on Ambiguity and Imagination                                                      Need ambiguit...
THANK YOU!More information, please contact HorizonKey:                                              ...
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Change of chinese values across different generations


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Social environment is interactive with human’s subsistence and development. When we make an analysis of the profound changes that have happened to China’s society over the past 30 years, the “human” that lives in the society by itself serves as an important symbol that can help us to trace such a history.
The study, entitled “Change of Chinese Values across Different Generations”, worked out by the HorizonKey, aims to make analyses of and comparisons between Chinese people’s values during different generations to reflect all-time changes in the Chinese society. Through our researches, it is not difficult to find that people born in the 1960s and 70s tend to share a unified value and perspective. What both the two generations care more about are devotion, loyalty and sharing with others. However, the case is different when it comes to those born in the 1980s. These less-than-30-years-old people face a diversified value system and they have no unified standard and perspective towards the same problem. For the generation in the 1990s, things are also different. As the country opens wider to the outside world, the society becomes more diversified and more tolerant. The “self-centered” value has gradually dominated the minds of this young generation. Different groups not only hold different views about which value should take a leading position, but also show differences over what influences the same value element will produce on different-generation groups. This report presented by us aims to help you more deeply understand the differences between different generations of Chinese people as well as probe into the vicissitude China’s society has experienced over the past 30 years.

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Change of chinese values across different generations

  1. 1. Change of Chinese Values Across Different Generations
  2. 2. Importance of value Shared devotion lofty openness others self authority fashion authority Neutralization self-control materialization needs of information rate innovation win-win Decade
  3. 3. 1. Generational attitudes on Authority Obey authority Suspect authority Challenge authority Deconstruct authority At our age, we respected our I hoped that our elders could I longed for communication on an Nowadays, nobody can parents and teachers with awe. communicate with me just as equal basis. However, influenced by dominate your life. People can So we accepted their instructions friends rather than force me to do the education surroundings since my give suggestions, but they can without even the slightest something. But that did not mean childhood, but there are some never make decisions for you. It uncomfortable feeling. This kind our parents and teachers could not deeply ingrained ways of thought is up to you; no one can live of one-way instruction was to us interfere with our lives. The kind of that made me accept some your life for you acceptable. interference was not a bad thing. instructions on authority. For . example, as a child, you have to do ——born in 1990s ——born in 1960s ——born in 1970s what your parents tell you to. ——born in 1980s
  4. 4. 2. Generational attitudes on Individuality Unique identities External personality Inner transcendence Uniformity and consistency I am the one, the only one. Thats me We would like to have our own We liked to be the spotlights by, for Society does not quite approve of similarity. If I hope that, in my friends’ eyes, I style in dress. But we were not example, excellence in studies or being you do not have your own personality and you am a cool girl with five piercings against being dressed the same. a wholesome person. We would never are completely obedient and well-behaved, in my left ear and three in the Red dress was popular then and demonstrate our personality by dress there is no way for you to get attention. right, a cool girl who is dressed could be seen everywhere. And however. At that time, we usually wore What’s more, you may not find your own in a black, stand-up collared, we were all OK with that. what our parents made us wear. But we circle of friends. I can accept demonstrating tight dress. Whenever they think could be ahead our time in terms of my own personality without crossing the line of those features, I am the one ——born in 1960s thinking, by enjoying unconventional of traditional ethical standards. The post-80s they will think of. Those are my music and poetry for example. generation wants to go wild. However, our particular symbols. inner traditionalism is a mental barrier. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s ——born in 1990s
  5. 5. 3. Generational attitudes on Interpersonal Relationships Devotion & Sacrifice Selfish & Selflessness Reciprocal Square deal Selfish Selfless At that time, we identified with In my childhood, I especially From my point of view, devotion and The gains can only be achieved devotion and sacrifice. People hoped to be treated equally, sacrifice will just benefit others at my only at equivalent cost. That is held the belief of being especially in communication. I was expense. Such deeds are irresponsible the “principle of equivalent disinterested and working the monitor of my class then. But I with regard to our own lives and families. exchange” proclaimed in the selflessly for the public. There never asked my classmates to do was no such concept as win-win things in an imperative tone. The spirit of Lei Feng no longer works cartoon “Alchemy.” And we or mutual benefit. Hence, we Instead, I would tell them those nowadays. If collective honor has to be believe it is the truth. never thought about those were the instructions from our obtained through my sacrifice, then I will Interpersonal relationship also things. teachers. carefully consider the situation. I need to adhere to the principle. make sure what’s sacrificed can be ——born in 1960s somehow made up for. ——born in 1990s ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  6. 6. 4. Generational attitudes on Gender Conventional gender values Boundary-subverting gender values We had great gender consciousness At that time, we thought There’re two kinds of people in the world, men What is the problem with boys’ and there was a clear dividing line that girls should be tender and women, who are destined to play different love of beauty? I’m not between genders. Boys and girls and boys should be strong. roles. Women should be tender and men particularly feminine, but isn’t always stayed separate. And girls There was no gray zone. should be masculine. I resent those gender- being gender-neutral popular were very cautious about tiny things neutralized people in the “Super Girls” and nowadays? Like Li Yuchun, I ——born in 1970s which would show their gender such “Happy Boys”. It is abnormal that “Super Girls” am totally fine with that. as wearing dresses. Normally, three look like men and “Happy Boys” are just like to five girls would make a deal to women. It is definitely not beautiful. Instead, ——born in 1990s wear dresses together. they are quenching beauty. Men and women should demonstrate the temperaments that ——born in 1960s nature endowed them with. ——born in 1980s
  7. 7. 5. Generational attitudes on Love and Marriage Marriage = Love Marriage ≠Love In the adolescence, we had a hazy awareness of love but not many Wives and girlfriends are different. A girlfriend needs to be romantic. thoughts about marriage. We even didn’t know the relationship between But your wife is just like a family member who stays with you them. Our understanding about that is quite different from that of the everyday. Marriage partners should take care of each other and have post-90s. People nowadays know what kind of qualities he/she should have to make her/him their boyfriend/girlfriend. And they also know the ability to support the family. what qualities a marriage partner should have and they will find him/her by their own efforts. ——born in 1990s ——born in 1960s Firstly, we didn’t know anything about marriage. Secondly, we thought First of all, in our junior and senior high school, we had no concept of that love and marriage were linked with each other. If two people love love or marriage. And when we got to know about it, we believed that each other so deeply, then they will get married. However, at present love meant marriage. Your lover would become your marriage partner. we know that love and marriage are totally different things. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  8. 8. 6. Generational attitudes on Fashion Fashion everyday Fashion to distinguish oneself Fashion as ornament 帅气 淑女 I like fashion accessories; they can Famous brands are my favorites. But Fashion means going after trends, and it is add a crucial touch when properly purchasing power is decided by economic everywhere. Dressed in JJ and D&G, we matched. Fashion is about taste in strength. Therefore, fashion is a practical are mature in our appearance. At the same arranging ornaments. It doesn’t issue. However, no matter what we wear time, it is important to “have face”. matter whether they are famous or in what brand we dress ourselves, I Sometimes, we go to Starbucks with our brands or not. maintain that we should have our own friends. It is really flattering and cool to styles and be consistent. In my point of have a Starbucks cup in hand. ——born in 1960s, 1970s view. Fashion means being yourself. ——born in 1990s ——born in 1980s
  9. 9. 7. Generational attitudes on Models and Idols Idols——for external imitation and entertainment Models——setting standards by deeds and demeanor We believed in the strength of role models and we also thought that Andy Lau, a lady-killer for decades, is my idol. I especially love the movies he our own lives were connected to models that provided guidance, starred I will never miss any of them. He is as handsome as Prince Charming. positive instructions and a positive and optimistic attitude towards life. ——born in 1960s Faye Wong, a cool beauty with an ever changing image, is always ahead of the trend with her style. I like her ethereal voice and have been her fan since very early. I have collected all her albums. I hope she will come back soon. We made propaganda for role models at that time, e.g. making reports about sons of a farm family who always stayed up late studying with a ——born in 1980s tiny candle for many years and then finally tested into Tsinghua or I like all the programs about entertainment, because I may get the chance to Peking University. I really admired those people. Being able to study in see Jay [Chow] if I am lucky enough. such a favorable environment, I should learn from their determination. I like entertainment magazines. If my favorite stars are on the cover or there are other engaging topics, I will buy them. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1990s
  10. 10. 8. Generational attitudes on Popular Culture Prefers classics Prefers the unexpected & mysterious Personally, I don’t like fashion. The proof of a good thing lies in The ads of Pepsi Cola have a strong force of affinity because there’re many the test of time just like “Forest Gump”. Fashion is too short- stars in them. Having many stars as its spokesmen, behind each star there is a lived. That is why I don’t like it. group of fans, thus people with different tastes will like it. That’s why it attracts ——born in 1960s so many people. “Gone with the Wind” was a book that I couldn’t put down at ——born in 1990s that time. It is such a classic that, even now, I pick it up and read it. And for sure, I also watch the movie adapted from the Andy Lau, a legendary figure who made marvelous achievements through his novel. own efforts, a star of screen, television and music: excellent performance in Lin Qingxia, my dream lover, was a girl of matchless beauty. And the three fields. He has kept it up for 20 years. His optimism and diligence she really stood out as a good actor. I still admire her now and have made him a model in the movie and music industry, and they are also the will keep following her news. very reasons why he has attracted so many fans. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  11. 11. 9. Generational attitudes on Equality Equality in human interaction Equal opportunity for social classes Superior and inferior Man and woman Teacher and student The world is flat I am not really a patriot, and I will not die for my country. Nor would I think We also pursued equality at that time. But it was different from about nothing else but my country. Only countries with freedom and equality nowadays. What we went for was equality in communication in like U.S. deserve patriotism. Equality means no grades among people. Take interpersonal relationship. For example, when a superior talked to stars as an example. Stars in foreign countries don’t have to have lots of pull, his inferior, he shouldn’t put on airs. That would create a sense of nor do they have to have relatives in the industry. However, that is not the distance. case in China. All the stars have lots of pull. ——born in 1960s ——born in 1990s In my childhood, I especially hoped to be treated equally, especially in communication. I was the monitor of my class then. When I was little, I hoped to be independent and made my own decisions rather than doing whatever my parents or teachers told me to. When we had But I never asked my classmates to do things in an imperative to choose between arts and science in senior high school, I wished that my tone. Instead, I would tell them those were the instructions from mom would listen to my opinion and preferences instead of making decisions our teachers. for me. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1990s
  12. 12. 10. Generational attitudes on Adulthood From children to teenagers to adults Mixing mature & juvenile We knew the boundaries of age. To us, life had its clearly divided phases. In At that time, my mom always bossed me around. So I particularly wanted to grow each phase, we were expected to do certain things. Life wasn’t quite as busy at up. Then there would be no one forcing me to eat horrible eggs and drink nasty that time and the competition wasn’t as intense as nowadays. Although we did milk. We looked forward to having troubles and anticipated an adult lifestyle with look for excitement, we seldom dwelt on memories of childhood. We would never troubles and worries. That was the life of an adult, I thought. However, at present, I seek child-like enjoyment, and we would not mingle maturity with childishness. hope to be free from troubles and I will intentionally do things to remind myself of When in junior and senior high school, we were neither eager to grow up nor childhood. overly attached to our childhood. ——born in 1960s ——born in 1980s We were under great pressure to study during junior and senior high school. I I often buy this brand of biscuits because it is fun and interestingly wrapped. With hated to be bothered by those things. What I longed for was life without exams or Winnie the Pooh on the package and beautiful colors, it is so cute. When I am parents’ and teachers’ expectations. What I especially hoped for was a healthy taking the biscuits, I feel like I am child again. They taste OK, not quite tasty. I just environment with nothing bothering me. I wished I could return to my childhood, have some at noon when I am in school. especially to preschool age. But I would seldom buy things to remember the past. ——born in 1990s At most, we would return to places where we used to play in our childhood. ——born in 1970s
  13. 13. 11. Generational attitudes on Friendship and Belonging Made friends through geography and special occasions Made friends through interests When we were young we also liked to be social and have friends. But it I crave communication and social life. It is terrible to be misunderstood wasn’t terrible to stay alone. At that time, there was no such concept as by classmates who will then isolate you and stay away from you. “having a circle”, which has emerged in recent years. For example, blog Having a circle is the source of enjoyment and a bridge for sharing. circles, car enthusiast meetings, pets circles, etc. Friends were Friends can make our tiresome and boring school life vibrant. However, classmates who often hang out with each other. We just had small social as we grow older, our circles become smaller and the idea of friend circles where we were connected through real life channels rather than circles becomes more complicated. through some virtual world. —born in 1980s ——born in 1960s We need friends. However we are also afraid of being surrounded by Well, I often go to all kinds of parties! Partying is part of my life. For me, them constantly. We prefer being alone sometimes and doing things we friendship overwhelms everything else. Friends are a key part of my life like. Generally speaking, we enjoy loneliness but are also scared of and rank first, with kinship tied with love for second place. My buddies being isolated. I think it is important to have friends and your own circle. know me best. Sometimes, I don’t even have to speak my mind. Just by When you have friends, you will still long for independent space and time one glance, they could read my mind. for yourself. ——born in 1970s —born in 1990s
  14. 14. 12. Generational attitudes on Desire for Control Sharing Posessive My place, my voice. We didn’t have awareness of “independence” and we never thought to Being possessive, I want things that I like to belong to myself and to have have everything for ourselves. The economics and society in the past exclusive ownership. When we have such privileges, we will be happy. At didn’t provide such conditions (For example, we never had personal physicians or private coaches. Two-room houses were good enough. least we feel good at that moment. You could never have your own bedroom and wardrobe). So we have ——born in 1990s never thought about exclusive ownership, nor totally controlling something. ——born in 1960s It makes me happy to share and it is also mutually beneficial to bring It is selfish to keep things to yourself. Only by sharing can one bring the your good stuff to your friends and share your opinions with each other. happiness to others. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  15. 15. 13. Generational attitudes on Society Equality, harmony, and simplicity Polarization, competition, and sophistication When I was in high school, market economy hadn’t been introduced and Nowadays guanxi talks. Nothing will work without guanxi. It will be hard we had little idea about competition and division in economic society. It to succeed without a social network. And I think it is normal for people was horrible to be sophisticated and cunning. When I was in my college to get good jobs with the help of their parents’ networks. That is reality. and lived in a kind of small society and dealt with issues, I had to be ——born in 1990s cunning and tactful sometimes. It was kind of painful to do that. ——born in 1960s I see society as fair and harmonious. To me, being sophisticated means Society, for me, is quite simple without much tough competition. Being being good at conducting oneself. It didn’t have the negative sophisticated in our time meant that people were good at conducting interpretation it has nowadays. themselves. However, it has become a negative term nowadays. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  16. 16. 14. Generational attitudes on Money Longing for materialism Non-materialist Materialism is essential I desire a good life but I am not eager for material things. I hope to I’d like a better life. I hope to be rich, to own my own house and car, be rich and glorious, but that is just a wish and is by no means an get whatever I want and afford everything I like. And I also pursue essential requirement of life. immaterial things. Generally, I wish for a happy life with my family. Material and immaterial coexist with each other and the material things ——born in 1960s are premises of spiritual life. ——born in 1990s We didn’t have much pressure in the past. So we had little idea First of all, at that time, we would not think about our status in the about being wealthy and glorious. Today, the small gap between future. Secondly, we didn’t expect a rich and glorious life because poor and rich has led to a shallow understanding of the essential spiritual well-being is what we pursued. I didn’t think I would lack for requirements for life. material things. In fact, I kind of resent wealthy folks. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  17. 17. 15. Generational attitudes on Information Reception Digesters Gatherers Although I had heard of the information explosion during high I surf the internet for information, like entertainment news to expand school, I didn’t quite understand it at that time. There’s little my perspective and knowledge so that I have topics to chat about information flow and no need for speed-reading and rapid browsing with friends. It is really embarrassing to run out of topics. I would just of information. So we haven’t got used to collecting information scan the titles of news on the internet. Just knowing about events is without digesting it. enough. There is no need to probe into them. ——born in 1960s ——born in 1990s Instead of reading without understanding, I like to get to the essence I prefer textual information, because I have the time for it and it of things. provides space for imagination. I like to dig out the stories hidden in the ——born in 1970s words and lines rather than just searching for information. ——born in 1980s
  18. 18. 16. Generational attitudes on Creativity Uniform & consolidated Diverse & tailor-made We were static in thought at that time and we had no ideas of I have two packages of beaded bracelets made by myself. I could wear customization. So we had never thought about that. What we pursued them if I knew how to fasten the buttons. They are just crafts when not were totally different things. used. Marketed crafts can never compare with the ones made by myself, though they look the same . After all, I made them myself. ——born in 1960s ——born in 1990s I like static things; it makes things ordered. I won’t be bewildered, I like DIY (do-it-yourself) which offers me a sense of achievement. DIY and it is quick and easy to make decisions. allows me to get what I like. Doing models and cross-stitch makes me feel good. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  19. 19. 17. Generational attitudes on Entertainment Unadorned Unexpected & Simulative We don’t go for exciting and extravagant experiences and we We like winds roaring by our ears and we like screaming to save us are OK with routines. The stories we liked had similar plots at from the routine once a while and make us feel high. I don’t like routine that time and they all had the same ending. Now when I look life and I am searching for excitement. Excitement means going to the back, I can’t understand why people then liked these things. extreme. For example, I like thriller movies and extremely sweet and hot ——born in 1960s food. ——born in 1990s Compared with exciting and extravagant experiences, I prefer student life is sort of boring. So we need to do some exciting and fresh routine life and safety. I don’t like dangerous things. things to spice up our lives. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  20. 20. 18. Generational attitudes on Product Preferences Different things, different needs Complicated = Good quality Prefer simplicity, hate trouble Simple to use Complicated diet We didn’t have many demands at that time and we didn’t Speaking of laziness, well; I am a little bit lazy. But I don’t see mind some trouble. Owning things was enough for us. anything wrong with that. Why not be lazy when you can? It is not wrong to save yourself labor when you can. Many inventions are [Products] being complicated meant that they were superior made by lazy people to save trouble, aren’t they? and had more functions. ——born in 1960s ——born in 1990s For things we used, I preferred convenience and simplicity. We prefer simple things, and we like humanized design such as However, I believed that simple food lacked nutrition. small packaging or shoes without ties. At the same time I think we should pay attention to detail, especially in our work. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  21. 21. 19. Generational attitudes on Loftiness Loftiness with exceptions Pursuing lofty in their whole life Realistic is better thank lofty We didn’t pursue a sense of reality. Novels by Qiong Yao and misty I like best the heroine in "Amelie” who helps others with the heart of a child. poetry were our favorites. Those things are unreal. But at that time, She is a cute and good person. I was deeply touched by one scene in society itself was real and we did not need to suspect its veracity. which she didn’t give the thing to the boy personally after she had made There’s no need to do that. We were eager to be perfect and noble for the call in the telephone booth. Instead, she secretly ran away. I don’t there were not many beautiful things in the world. We longed for more interpret that as behaving well in a quiet way. I see it as shyness. Good beautiful things. people can be shy; they could have those tiny shortcomings for they aren’t perfect. People who are perfect while at the same time kindhearted are ——born in 1960s unbelievable and distant. ——born in 1990s Before I got to know real life, I would admire perfect and noble people There’s no need to repeat what people as perfect and noble as Lei Feng like Lei Feng and Laining. But when we entered the real world, I had once done. They were too removed from our lives. It is better for us to realized that it’s better to be realistic in life. be realistic and consider what we are capable of at present. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  22. 22. 20. Generational attitudes on Ambiguity and Imagination Need ambiguity sometimes The unexpected should permeate everything No need for surprise Reserved expression Imagination Vague expression Direct teaching Now that juice has occupied the refrigerator, there is no need for me to go on.. We didn’t need everything to be suspenseful. For example you always I don’t like those directly proclaimed ads with one actor repeating how knew there was always a good guy and a bad guy in a TV series. At that excellent the product is. It is too fake. I like ads to be a little bit reserved time, what we hoped was that the good guy could be a little bit evil and make people think a little. I like Inuyasha because when he cares sometimes and the bad guy could be a little bit kind-hearted once a while about others, he will not say or he will express that in a reserved way. and their character wasn’t so blatant. But we were fine with the general plot and the routine ending of the story. ——born in 1990s ——born in 1960s To some extent, I like to be direct in expression. But sometimes, we would I love surprise. I like ads that demand some thinking rather than directly choose to be reserved in words. addressing you as in Nao Baijin [a melatonin-based health product]. That is more impressive. ——born in 1970s ——born in 1980s
  23. 23. THANK YOU!More information, please contact HorizonKey: Horizonkey 08/07