Zak Dychtwald examines modern China's emerging identity through the lens of their Millennial generation, what's called the 九零后 jiu ling hou―his peer generation, the Chinese generation born after 1990.
When we talk about China, we typically focus on the past: old stereotypes, old policies, and the older generations.
But China’s future is being determined right now by their Millennials. In their lifetime, they’ve witnessed the Internet open up China to the world, a massive demographic shift to a 4-2-1 society, and unparalleled surging capitalist success directed by their “Communist” government. While their parents were consumed with subsistence questions around food, housing, and survival, they are asking the questions: Who do we want to be? How do we want to live? What will be China’s role in the 21st century?
Young China is a close up look at the Chinese generation born after 1990 exploring through personal encounters and research how young Chinese feel about everything from money and sex, to their government, the West, and China’s shifting role in the world--not to mention their love affair with food, karaoke, and travel. Set primarily in the Eastern 2nd tier city of Suzhou and the budding Western metropolis of Chengdu, the book charts the touchstone issues this young generation faces. From single-child pressure, to test taking madness and the frenzy to buy an apartment as a prerequisite to marriage, from one-night-stands to an evolving understanding of family, Young China offers a fascinating portrait of the generation who will define what it means to be Chinese in the modern era.
— Zak Dychtwald