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Culture Bridge 20150412-China's New Tribe

Culture Bridge 20150412-China's New Tribe

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Culture Bridge 20150412-China's New Tribe

2015-04-16 播放 9
                   China’s New Tribes
Free talk: We all know that China has gone through numerous changes since 1978, the reform and opening-up, so which aspect do you think has changed the most and impresses you?
 Who knew China was tribal? The diversification of Chinese society has seen a flowering of a new vocabulary. Perhaps the most fascinating has been the division of people into tribe( “zu” in Chinese).In today’s program ,we’re going to talk about something about those newly-emerging tribes in China.
  Ant tribe is a neologism used to describe a group of low incomeuniversity graduates who settle for a poverty-level existence in the cities of China. Those who belong to the ant tribe class hope that, in time, they will find the jobs for which they are trained in college. Lian Si, then a postdoctoral researcher at Peking University, coined the term "ant tribe" to draw a comparison between the lives of these college graduates and ants: "They share every similarity with ants. They live in colonies in cramped areas. They&`&re intelligent and hardworking, yet anonymous and underpaid." Typically consisting of those born during and after the 1980s, the ant tribe is considered the fourth disadvantaged social class in the Chinese social paradigm, alongside the traditionally disadvantaged classes of the peasantry, the migrant workers, and those formerly employed by government-owned corporations and left unemployed by the economic reform in China.
A key characteristic of the ant tribe is their optimism. After completing their college education, the young people often seek to stay in urban areas to maximize their career prospects. As a result, they accept the short-term consequences of starting-level positions for which they are over-qualified, believing that they will rise to their desired job level in time. There&`&s a correlation between the prestige of one&`&s degree and the size of the city that they hope to eventually stay in. Students from the best colleges generally flock to big cities, while students who have only completed vocational training are more likely to vie for positions in smaller cities. 
To control costs, ant tribe people are likely to rent small rooms or share a crowded small apartment in the city slums. Accommodations are often spartan: littlefurniture and no air conditioning, even as the temperatures in the major cities of China frequently exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Some ant tribe dwellings have no window and many utilize a shared bath, unless their owners are able and willing to shoulder the costs for a private bath. Some have no access to hot water or heating. These apartments, while located in the major cities of China and host college-educated people, are noted to resemble slums in third-world countries.
To relieve the pressure felt by the ant tribe and caused by the rapidly increasing real estate prices, the Chinese government has taken some actions, such as lowering taxes, constructing cheaper rental apartments, and legislating a higher minimum wage.Another proposed solution is for universities to limit their enrollments and to establish undergraduate curricula that more specifically aimed at fields with attainable jobs.
Moonlight clan(月光族)
Perhaps the group China needs most as it tries to stimulate its domestic consumer economy is the yue guang zu, or the moonlight tribe, so named because the Chinese characters for “moonlight” sound the same as the phrase “spend all your monthly salary”.Their parents saved evey yuan, but life for these youngsters is just spend, spend, and spend. Now, that’s patriotic consumption.  
Categories of the Moonlight clan:
Type 1: People who have a relatively high income
This group of people can not only meet the basic needs but also pursue higher standard of living. Examples of this group are white collar workers and the middle class.Members of Moonlight Clan who earn relatively high income tend to pursue materialism. Most of them lack financial discipline (i.e. overspending) and future planning.People earning relatively high income are usually brand-loyal consumers who pursue pleasure-seeking and luxurious lifestyles. They tend to have strong consumption confidence.
Type 2: People who can barely make ends meet and possibly rely on welfare
This group of people struggle to meet basic needs, thus having lower standard of living in comparison to Type 1. This group is mainly constituted by low socio-economic groups including the grassroots, people who are paid minimum wage, and the blue-collar workers.Lower-income consumers spend mostly on necessities and rent as they are burdened by the rising cost of living. They do not have extra money for expensive pleasure-seeking activities and luxurious goods.
Causes of the Moonlight Clan:
①Poor money management
Lacking knowledge in money management, personal budget and saving, people seldom track their spending habits and savings to review their expenses. According to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong, less than one third of the respondents would save their income before spending, or even spend more than what they are earning in a month. Poor money management factors into the causes of increase in the number of Moonlight Clan.
②Consumerism Culture
Being bombarded by commercial advertisements, people with relatively high income feel compelled to pursue personal wellbeing and happiness through material possessions. An easy access to a variety of entertainment and activities may be the reason for the increase in consumerism for Moonlight Clan as they tend to spend and enjoy the present instead of saving for the future. 
③Advanced technology and convenience
By using credit cards, people can spend money they have not earned. In recent years, the credit card industry has been burgeoning, making credit cards available for almost everyone with insufficient screening.