Modern Social Groups in China

by | Feb 28, 2019

Modern social groups in China

A few weeks ago, we already talked about modern social groups in China – from the perspective of one talented Chinese artist. But to tell you the truth, there are so many more “social groups” or “labels” (族 zú) in modern China!

Lots of them already made their way into Chinese textbooks (for example, 蚁族 yǐ zú, ant tribe).

So today, we’s like to talk about those social groups and labels that are not in textbooks yeat – but can already be discovered online and on Baidu.



 Modern Social Groups in China

The abbreviation “SOHO” in SOHO族 can be interpreted as Small Office (and) Home Office. These are the people who work at home, so “home” and “office” are the same thing to them.

Most work as freelance translators, freelance writers, graphic designers, craft designers, artists, music creators, product salesmen, advertising producers, fashion designers, business agents, websites creators, etc.



Modern Social Groups in China

NONO族’s existence is a double negation of the “petty bourgeoisie’s lifestyle”. They say no to hypocrisy, pretense, trend following, and thousands of identical brands. They find beauty in simple things. Their greatest charm is “不以物喜、不以己悲 bù yǐ wù xǐ, bù yǐ jǐ bēi” which can be translated as “Not to be happy or sad because of other things or yourself”.

Their ideal is a rich, healthy, harmonious and leisurely lifestyle.



Modern Social Groups in China

People who consider themselves (or are considered by others) to be 3A族 have three things in life: a car, a home and a family. They are full of dreams and expectations for the future, and at the same time, bear the heavy burden of reality. Most of the “3As” have achieved little career success. They have set up a house, bought a car, and gave birth to a baby, but are often criticized by lack of ambition.



Modern Social Groups in China

低头族 dītóuzú, or the “tribe that keeps their head low”. It refers to people who are in their devices all the time. Some 低头族 dītóuzú stare at their mobile phones, some pull out tablets or laptops to surf the Internet, play games, or watch videos with their heads down. Some dictionaries describe 低头族 dītóuzú as people who only look at their phones, and leave the relatives and friends behind them.



Modern Social Groups in China

摩浴族 móyùzú or ”Massage bath tribe” enjoy a life of modern conveniences. There is always a bathtub in their house. They look for a relaxed life, and see bathing as a way to gain physical and mental relaxation. They decided to say “no to the boring routine”, and began to be passionate about life and work. Their creative minds help them to fulfill their ideas. They say a bath helps, too.

[If you like this post, you can also see the second part here! There we’ll talk about more social groups you can find in China today.]

[You can also have a look at our post about Chinese style of parenting. You will learn more about the “Chinese way” of raising children.]

Next time we’ll look at more modern “tribes. But until then – which tribe do you consider yourself part of?

And do you have similar social labels in your country?

Share in comments, or tweet us at @thatsmandarin!


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