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==nèijuǎnhuà | [[内卷化]]==
==nèi juǎn | [[内卷化]]==
 
  
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A sense of burnout and unhappiness felt by students and workers, blue and white collar alike, which was popularized on Chinese social media in 2020. The term from the work of American anthropologist Clifford Geertz, who describes "[[Wikipedia:Agricultural Involution|agricultural involution]]" as the intensification of existing agricultural practices in lieu of innovation, leading to enormous input of labor for marginal gains for laborers. At The New Yorker, Yi-Ling Liu explains involution as [https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/chinas-involuted-generation acceleration without a destination, progress without a purpose, Sisyphus spinning the wheels of a perpetual-motion Peloton]. At Sixth Tone, Wang Qianni and Ge Shifan describe involution as "[https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1006391/how-one-obscure-word-captures-urban-chinas-unhappiness the opposite of evolution]," a process that "[https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1006391/how-one-obscure-word-captures-urban-chinas-unhappiness traps participants who know they won't benefit from it]."
Involution is a term popularized on Chinese social media beginning in 2020, describing a feeling of burnout and unhappiness felt by students and workers, blue and white collar alike. The term was explained by [https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/chinas-involuted-generation Yi-Ling Liu for The New Yorker as such:]
 
  
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A combination of social and economic issues has led to the explosion of involution in digital discourse. It is used to critique China's increasingly competitive and cutthroat society, particularly for the growing middle class. Parents feel enormous pressure to get their children into the best schools and universities, while children feel ever increasing pressure to perform academically, while tech workers and white collar employees suffer from the long hours of [https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2021/01/translation-death-of-pinduoduo-worker-renews-outrage-at-996-overwork-culture/ 996] work culture. Many young Chinese are pushing back by "[[lie down|lying down]]."
<blockquote>The Chinese term for involution, neijuan, which is made up of the characters for “inside” and “rolling,” suggests a process that curls inward, ensnaring its participants within what the anthropologist Xiang Biao has described as an “endless cycle of self-flagellation.” Involution is “the experience of being locked in competition that one ultimately knows is meaningless,” Biao told me. It is acceleration without a destination, progress without a purpose, Sisyphus spinning the wheels of a perpetual-motion Peloton. </blockquote>
 
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Others have described involution as [https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1006391/how-one-obscure-word-captures-urban-chinas-unhappiness "the opposite of evolution,"] a process that "traps participants who know they won't benefit from it."
 
 
A combination of several social issues has led to the explosive popularity of the term. Many use it to describe China's increasingly competitive and cutthroat society, particularly for the growing middle class. Parents feel enormous pressure to get their children into the best schools and universities, while children feel ever increasing pressure to perform academically. [https://technode.com/2021/05/14/beyond-996-beginners-guide-to-working-at-chinese-tech-companies/ Tech workers and white collar employees] suffer from long hours and [https://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/996/ "996"] work culture.
 
 
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====See Also====  
 
====See Also====  
 
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*[[996]]
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*[[cut chives]]
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*[[lie down]]
  
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==== More from CDT ====
 
==== More from CDT ====
*[https://chinadigitaltimes.net/search_gcse/?q=XXXXX English]
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*[https://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/996/ English]
  
*[https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/search_gcse/?q=XXXXX 中文]
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*[https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/search_gcse/?q=内卷化 中文]
  
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[[Category:Lexicon]][[Category:Resistance Discourse]]
 
[[Category:Lexicon]][[Category:Resistance Discourse]]

Revision as of 18:22, 8 June 2021

nèijuǎnhuà | 内卷化

A sense of burnout and unhappiness felt by students and workers, blue and white collar alike, which was popularized on Chinese social media in 2020. The term from the work of American anthropologist Clifford Geertz, who describes "agricultural involution" as the intensification of existing agricultural practices in lieu of innovation, leading to enormous input of labor for marginal gains for laborers. At The New Yorker, Yi-Ling Liu explains involution as acceleration without a destination, progress without a purpose, Sisyphus spinning the wheels of a perpetual-motion Peloton. At Sixth Tone, Wang Qianni and Ge Shifan describe involution as "the opposite of evolution," a process that "traps participants who know they won't benefit from it."

A combination of social and economic issues has led to the explosion of involution in digital discourse. It is used to critique China's increasingly competitive and cutthroat society, particularly for the growing middle class. Parents feel enormous pressure to get their children into the best schools and universities, while children feel ever increasing pressure to perform academically, while tech workers and white collar employees suffer from the long hours of 996 work culture. Many young Chinese are pushing back by "lying down."

See Also

More from CDT