This essay is a study of the cultural manifestation of youth in the early years of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It does not aim to examine the focus on youth merely as a social phenomenon, but instead considers youth as a symbolic figure that had a profound influence on the conceptions of nationhood and modernity. Focusing on Mao's discourse on youth and its effects on literature and politics, I argue that youth is a discursive constellation that is constructed through endless choices, creations, and readjusting of symbols, images, and representational modes. Its manifestation in literary imagination encodes and enlarges, but also complicates, political engagement as a means of disciplining young people and appropriadng their position in society.
Copyright © 2009 by Lingnan University. Also available on Artiti: http://www.airitilibrary.com/Publication/alDetailedMesh?DocID=10265120-200907-201008040032-201008040032-108-138 (Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.)
Song, M. (2009). The taming of the youth: Discourse, politics, and fictional representation in the early PRC = 規訓與狂歡的敘事 : 五〇年代大陸文學中的青春論述、政治及小說再現. Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, 9(2), 108-138.