This chapter examines the shift from educational to economic and entertainment ‘crazes’, exploring trends in leisure and lifestyles as well as attitudes. Disillusionment with education predisposed young intellectuals to be more economically active whilst retaining sufficient motivation to stay on the ‘black pathway’. The jingshang re will be analysed as will ways in which money was spent on the growing diversity of leisure activities in the 1980s; these will be viewed as elements of both the official and unofficial youth cultures. There was some merging of trends within the popular culture sphere and the implications of these trends will be discussed. My own observations were consistent with those of other commentators who, when considering the students in particular, noticed several main groups in terms of leisure activities.1 Fads for pop songs and films will be included and how these reflected other trends will be discussed. Analysis of data about respected people in Chinese society indicated that Deng’s generation were searching for alternative role models with a ‘no more heroes’ syndrome emerging. The popularity of the ‘He Shang’ series will be considered in the light of key generational features and this will set the context for the trends of the decade as well as for the following chapter on the political nature of the generation.
KeywordsYoung People Cultural Revolution Popular Music Open Door Policy Reform Period
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