What does the ideal citizen look like in China’s new era? A bottom-up view

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Abstract

China has reformed the way it nurtures a generation of citizens for the new era of the Xi administration. School curricula have been reformed and more teachers have been trained to deliver political–ideological education. While the central authorities play a crucial role in forging a vision of the ‘ideal’ citizen from the top down, the enactment of centrally promulgated policies and curricula is complicated. This study explores a bottom-up view from the perspective of a group of university teachers, the institutional actors who socialise young people into ‘ideal’ citizens on the ground. Four themes emerge in the informants’ narratives: ideological commitment, abilities, developing a global outlook, and the influence of traditional culture. The paper concludes with a discussion of the interplay between socialist, traditional, and neoliberal rationalities in the making of Chinese citizens. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-760
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume27
Issue number6
Early online dateDec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Citation

Zhao, Z. (2023). What does the ideal citizen look like in China’s new era? A bottom-up view. Citizenship Studies, 27(6), 744-760. https://doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2023.2287828

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Education
  • Ideology
  • Discourse
  • Chinese culture

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