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The Culture of Chinese Teens

by Suzy Giovannettone Cope, studioD

The culture of Chinese teenagers has changed drastically in the past few decades. China has made a big mark as a result of its booming manufacturing sector. As a result, Chinese teens have left a lot of the ancient lifestyle behind to embrace modern fashion, music and political involvement. Though the Chinese still maintain their traditions, Chinese teens are now incorporating more Western influences into their lives.

Ancient Chinese Traditions

During the Imperial Period, the Chinese did not see education as a priority for teenage girls. Young women were trained to focus on supporting the success of men in the family and household chores. Teen boys were raised with the idea of one day being the leader and decision-maker of the house. Youths who did receive schooling focused on Confucian teachings, influential moral leaders of the past and studying classical texts. The patterns of life for teens in ancient China depended on social status and gender.

Modern Preferences

Chinese teens have been exposed to more Western influences, including Western celebrities, since the introduction of foreign trade to China more than 30 years ago. According to Geeta Kochhar, a visiting fellow at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, teens born into urban settings have different values than those born in rural areas of China. Financial status is more important to teenagers who live in urban areas. They are focused on changing the world around them as they acquire financial security. Western religions are also having an effect on some Chinese teens. Christianity is rising in popularity as is a reformed Confucianism way of life.


Education is a priority for teenagers in modern China. According to a 2013 article in "Bloomberg Businessweek," the quality of education received in China can still depend on the social class or status that teens are born into. Teenagers in China understand that a proper education can ensure their financial future and play an important role in betting family status. Teens spend a large portion of their time at school. It is not uncommon for students to attend classes from 7 a.m. until after 5 p.m. every day of the week. Often, teenagers come home after school with at least an hour’s worth of homework to complete.


Many Chinese teens are cautious about romance because they are normally taught by family members and teachers that serious relationships should wait until adulthood. According to a 2013 "Global Times" article, a survey of Chinese middle school students showed that roughly half of the students are reluctant to engage in romantic activities because they are afraid it could damage their health and existing relationships with each other.

About the Author

Suzanne Giovannettone Cope started writing in 2010 for eHow and LIVESTRONG, where her specialty topics include educational issues and redefining disability. She is a licensed educator whose formal training was completed at Northern State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary and special education with a concentration in Braille and teaching children with visual impairments.

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