Idols for the young
Who are the most admired individuals among Shanghai’s post-2000 generation?
Aresearch report on the favorite idols of Shanghai citizens born after the year 2000 conducted by researcher Yang Xiong from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences was released on Monday, Shanghai Observer reported. The report was based on a study covering all primary and secondary schools in Shanghai between September and October of this year.
At a seminar to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up on Monday, Yang shared some interesting highlights of the results of his work. Notably, according to Yang, Chinese political leaders including President Xi Jinping, the late Chairman Mao Zedong, former Premier Zhou Enlai and former leader Deng Xiaoping topped the list of most admired individuals among millennial students in Shanghai. Chinese scientists, writers and entrepreneurs were in the top-15, including
Jack Ma Yun, founder of Alibaba
Qian Xuesen and Yuan Longping, famous Chinese writer Lu Xun and even Western physicist Albert Einstein. Some contemporary celebrities also made the list, including Wang Yuan and Yiyang Qianxi, who are members of the boyband TFBoys.
Yang believes idols can have a big impact on the values of today’s youth. By analyzing idols of younger generations of Chinese, society can gain deeper insight into the morals and ethics of today’s students. Notably, Chinese political leaders hold an important place in the hearts of the post-2000 generation of Chinese, which reflects that today’s youth appreciate China’s vast improvements under the guidance of their leadership, Yang said.
The future of society
Pop stars such as singers, movie stars, athletes and even online streaming hosts account for 30 percent of the top-100. Notably, young male celebrities are a prominent group of admired individuals, including Wang Yuan (top 13), Yiyang Qianxi (top 14), Hua Chenyu (top 17), Wang Junkai (top 23), Li Yifeng and Lu Han.
The research found that ancient Chinese politicians and ideologists, such
as Qu Yuan and
Yue Fei, are not so hot among modern-day youth. Also, not many scientists made the top-50; only the most well-known, such as Qian Xuesen, Yuan Longping, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, were included. Likewise, not many writers and poets were in the top 50; only four: Su Shi, Bing Xin, Li Bai and Jin Yong.
Interestingly, many Chinese students mentioned that their teachers are also their idols. This shows that educators are seen as role models and have a huge impact on the lives and thinking of today’s youth. Meanwhile, three successful entrepreneurs in the IT field appeared on the list: Jack Ma Yun, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The experiences, successes and achievements of these entrepreneurs inspire today’s Chinese young people to make bold choices in their career paths, Yang said.
Yang also pointed out that idols during one’s teenage years tend to have a very important influence on their future adult life. Since present-day teenagers are the next generation of our society, Yang called on all schools, families and society as a whole to guide Chinese youth toward more positive role models and idols.
The story was translated based on a report by Shanghai Observer.