Filial nationalism among Chinese teenagers with global identities

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ABSTRACT

In this article, I look at the apparent contradiction between Chinese teenagers' nationalism and their identification with a global imagined community that deemed China inferior. I examine how teenagers I knew in Dalian City, China, attempted to resolve this contradiction through the idiom of filial devotion, which they found more convincing than state-sponsored discourses of nationalism that emphasized China's admirability. Despite their admiration for wealthier societies, they maintained a strong sense of filial nationalism, which they saw as analogous to their unconditional loyalty to their parents. Such nationalism could not be nullified by their disgust with China's low status in the capitalist world system.

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