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popular music and youth in urban china: the dakou generation

  • jeroen de kloet

the import of illegal, cut cds from the west (dakou cds) in the mid-1990s marked the revitalization of chinese rock culture. this article analyses the rise of dakou culture in the context of the interrelated processes of globalization and marketization of chinese culture. contrary to accounts that proclaim the crisis or death of chinese rock, this article describes the re-emergence of rock since the mid-1990s. it presents an overview on three different scenes, part of the dakou culture among chinese youth. the fashionable bands are inspired by a cosmopolitan aspiration, the underground bands signify the return of the political and the urban folk singers express a nostalgic longing. all three scenes attest to the current diversity of popular music cultures in china, and are interpreted as sonic tactics employed by chinese youth to carve out their own space amidst an increasingly commercialized and globalized society.

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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