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Understanding Young Chinese Backpackers: The Pursuit of Freedom and Its Risks

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An activity that originated in western societies, backpacking has gained increasing popularity among Chinese millennials. In a spirit of thesearch-for-self, young Chinese backpackers have sought to display their pursuit of freedom, independence, and responsibility within an increasingly individualized society through backpacking. This volume investigates contemporary young An activity that originated in western societies, backpacking has gained increasing popularity among Chinese millennials. In a spirit of thesearch-for-self, young Chinese backpackers have sought to display their pursuit of freedom, independence, and responsibility within an increasingly individualized society through backpacking. This volume investigates contemporary young Chinese' views on backpacking culture and backpackers. A group of Chinese backpackers are studied using interview and participant observation, and focus groups are conducted to study young professionals and university students' attitudes towards backpacking. The results indicating a profound cultural change along with a degree of division. On the one hand, the backpackers often begin their journey due to a desire to pursue freedom, and use the pursuit as a process of reflexive awareness; on the other, the risks of carrying out a freewheeling lifestyle within an individualised society drive the majority of them to return home. The author concludes this phenomenon as a kind ofstaged individualism, describing how Chinese millennials strike a balance between individual interests and wider social obligations. Students and scholars of sociology, tourism, and youth culture will be interested in this volume.


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An activity that originated in western societies, backpacking has gained increasing popularity among Chinese millennials. In a spirit of thesearch-for-self, young Chinese backpackers have sought to display their pursuit of freedom, independence, and responsibility within an increasingly individualized society through backpacking. This volume investigates contemporary young An activity that originated in western societies, backpacking has gained increasing popularity among Chinese millennials. In a spirit of thesearch-for-self, young Chinese backpackers have sought to display their pursuit of freedom, independence, and responsibility within an increasingly individualized society through backpacking. This volume investigates contemporary young Chinese' views on backpacking culture and backpackers. A group of Chinese backpackers are studied using interview and participant observation, and focus groups are conducted to study young professionals and university students' attitudes towards backpacking. The results indicating a profound cultural change along with a degree of division. On the one hand, the backpackers often begin their journey due to a desire to pursue freedom, and use the pursuit as a process of reflexive awareness; on the other, the risks of carrying out a freewheeling lifestyle within an individualised society drive the majority of them to return home. The author concludes this phenomenon as a kind ofstaged individualism, describing how Chinese millennials strike a balance between individual interests and wider social obligations. Students and scholars of sociology, tourism, and youth culture will be interested in this volume.

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