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Aspirations of Young Adults in Urban Asia: Values, Family, and Identity

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Volume 11

Asian Anthropologies

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Aspirations of Young Adults in Urban Asia

Values, Family, and Identity

Edited by Mariske Westendorp, Désirée Remmert and Kenneth Finis

222 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-895-5 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Not Yet Published (October 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-896-2 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The ethnographic chapters of this book, exploring the aspirations of young adults in various Asian societies, are generally quite perceptive and well-written—this book is fun to read”. • Gordon Mathews, Chinese University of Hong Kong

“This volume is rich in valuable ethnographic evidence. Each author introduces a valid research perspective that opens meaningful themes of inquiry”. • Gil Hizi, University of Sydney


Comparing first-person ethnographic accounts of young people living, working, and creating relationships in cities across Asia, this volume explores their contemporary lives, pressures, ideals, and aspirations. Delving into topical issues such as education, social inequality, family pressures, changing values, precarious employment, and political discontent, the book explores how young people are pushing boundaries and imagining their future. In this way, they explore and create the identities of their local and global surroundings.

Mariske Westendorp is an anthropologist and religious studies scholar having lectured in the past at institutions such as the University of Nijmegen and the University of Utrecht. She is currently a postdoc at the University of Groningen in a research project on death and diversity.

Désirée Remmert obtained her PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK. Afterwards she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Tübingen in Germany, Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and at the LSE, UK. Desiree has researched on personal autonomy in decision-making in urban China and Taiwan and is currently conducting research on AI policy in the UK.

Kenneth Finis is a PhD candidate with the Anthropology Department of Macquarie University in Australia. His current research focuses on the question of the intergenerational transmission of trauma, exploring how young people in Cambodia today see themselves in relation to the past, their family, and their society. He has a professional background in Social Work, having practised in both community youth work and clinical settings.

Subject: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies
Area: Asia Asia-Pacific



Introduction: A Theoretical Framework for Exploring Aspirations of Youth in Urban Asia
Mariske Westendorp, Désirée Remmert and Kenneth Finis

Chapter 1. Female Filiality Reconfigured: Integrating Parental Expectations and Personal Aspirations in Beijing and Taipei
Désirée Remmert

Chapter 2. A Journey from Taipei to Shanghai: The Impact of Migration Experience on Taiwanese Young Adults’ Aspirations and Identities in an Asian Global City
Chia-Yuan Huang

Chapter 3. Aspiring to the Good Life: South Korea's Spec-generation
Carolin Landgraf

Chapter 4. Navigating Towards a ‘Good Future’: Significance of Appearance in the Aspirations of Dhaka Middle-class Girls
Suborna Camellia

Chapter 5. Searching for a Fulfilling Life: Temporary Migration to Dublin amongst Young Japanese Women   
Ayako Suzuki

Chapter 6. The Imaginations of Talking Back: Exploring Identities among the Indian Youth in Urban, Middle-class Malaysia
Sally Anne Param

Chapter 7. Law Students, Aspirations and Accomplishments in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Morten Koch Andersen

Chapter 8. Cosmopolitan Coffee Aspirations in Contemporary Vietnam
Sarah G. Grant

Chapter 9. Transcending Aspirations: Buddhism and the Quest for Belonging in Urban Hong Kong
Mariske Westendorp

Conclusion: The Future of Urban Asia
Mariske Westendorp


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