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Maturing Overnight
Special> Aftermath of the Quake> Maturing Overnight
UPDATED: February 25, 2008 NO.9 FEB.28, 2008
A Bittersweet Age

They are the first generation born under the one-child policy that came into effect about 30 years ago. Today this post-80s generation are mostly aged between 20-28 and lead independent lives. Their unique family environment is a far cry from that of their parents' generation, and has helped shape a personality of self-centeredness that makes them risk takers who are more open-minded and confident.

Surveys conducted by Horizon Research, a well-known consultancy, revealed that many of this generation are overly spoiled by other family members, thus forming a child-centered nuclear family pattern and fostering their strong sense of self-identity. As the economy blossoms and new technology emerges, they are more open to hi-tech products and an advanced lifestyle. They own the latest new and cool electronic gadgets and surf the Internet to play online games and chat. They are faithful to Western-style carnivals and Disney, and fans of Hello Kitty and ipods.

Being brought up in a market economy, and weened on foreign pop stars, fast food, Hollywood movies and the Internet, they are "products" of the 1980s. Compared with those born in the 1960s, they are simple and childish, but with those born in the 70s, they seem cynical and scornful. They are rebels living the good life, arrogant but vulnerable, with little life experience. Narcissistic and strong advocates of individuality, this generation is short of a sense of responsibility and belief in the spiritual aspects of life.

The post-80s generation is used to pressure. They've had it all the way through school, endless tests and certificates needed for better education and higher paid jobs. They missed the government-subsidized housing system, and are faced with the heavy burden of supporting their parents in an aging society.

Most of them are more concerned about social trends and fashions than criticism and enjoy socializing, meeting challenges and feeling needed. And their money is earned from what they know, money that is largely used to educate their kids.

It is true that most of this generation have become the core staff of many industries, who are attaching more importance to self worth. They work hard and play hard, and that's why they live happier than their predecessors. And now they are gradually, whether consciously or not, forming China's future middle class.

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