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Citizenship with Chinese Characteristics? An Investigation into Chinese University Students’ Civic Perceptions and Civic Participation

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Citizenship is a complex and multidimensional concept. There has been a tendency to compare traditions of citizenship in the West with those in the East, captured by a stereotype that depicts the West as individualistic and the East as collectivist. The purpose of this study is to investigate what kind of citizenship is exhibited by Chinese university students, including both their civic perception and their civic participation. Using a recently developed distinction between thin and thick citizenship, the findings from both quantitative and qualitative data analysed in this study reveal that Chinese university students tend towards thin citizenship, as they demonstrate positive civic attitudes yet lack strong evidence of participatory citizenship. The paper also discusses the impact of Confucian and other Chinese traditional value systems on typical views of citizenship held by Chinese students, and offers the suggestion that the citizenship education curriculum should incorporate experiential learning.

10.1007/s11516-011-0140-4
/content/journals/10.1007/s11516-011-0140-4
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/content/journals/10.1007/s11516-011-0140-4
2011-01-01
2016-12-04

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