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Go Back       Himalayan Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies | Volume:3 Issue:2 | April 10, 2022
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DOI : 10.47310/Hjhcs.2022.v03i02.010       Download PDF       HTML       XML

Teenagers' Values in the Postmodern Context -- a Case Study of Guangdong Province

Hou Yongmei

Department of Psychology School of Humanities and Administration Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China

*Corresponding Author

Hou Yongmei

Article History

Received: 23.03.2022

Accepted: 02.04.2022

Published: 10.04.2022

Abstract: Postmodernism has had a comprehensive and far-reaching impact on Teenagers' values. Previous relevant studies mostly focused on the theoretical analysis of the negative impact of postmodernism on Teenagers' values, and there were few studies involving the positive impact of postmodernism on Teenagers' values. The purpose of this study is to make an empirical study on the impact of postmodernism on Teenagers' values by using a large sample and multi center questionnaire, in order to make an objective analysis of this problem.

Keywords: Postmodern, Teenagers, Relationship, Fame, Wealth, Psychology.

I. Raising of questions

1.1 An overview of postmodern and Postmodernism

There is no unified definition of postmodern. The definition most widely recognized by the academic community is that determined by American sociologist George Rezel. He believes that postmodern refers to "a new era of society and politics, which is usually regarded as following modernity in a historical sense". This concept includes three factors such as a new historical era, new cultural products and a new type of social theory about the social world (George Rezel. 1997).

The trend of postmodernism thought is put forward in the process of modernization sweeping the world, aiming at the deficiency of modernity. Its main characteristics are opposing rationality and dispelling subjectivity, anti-essentialism and anti-fundamentalism, anti-evolutionism, decentrality, seeking difference and uncertainty. The significance of postmodernism is not to replace or surpass modernity. On the contrary, it may inspire the spirit of bravely facing some limitations and boundaries of modernity and highlight the hidden things in modern discourse (George Rezel. 1997).

1.2 Postmodernism values

In his book "Modernization and Post-Modernization --- Cultural, Economic and Political Changes of 43 Societies", American scholar Ronald Inglehart pointed out such value factors emphasizing the paying attention to and caring for personal self-expression as postmodern values are embodied in post materialism, ecological protection, women's movement, tolerance, creativity, life satisfaction, physical health and leisure importance and free choice (Inglehart, R. 2020).

1.3 The influence of post-modern values on Teenagers' values

As far as its positive role is concerned, in the face of the crisis caused by modernism and various difficulties being suffered by mankind, postmodern values always hold an attitude of ultimate concern for human nature, emphasize creativity, diversity and self-expression, and hope to rebuild the relationship between man and nature and between man and man, hoping to realize the harmonious development of man and man, man and nature by creating a life concept of returning to the warm spiritual home. As far as its negative consequences are concerned, postmodern values are always closely related to the characteristics of fuzziness, controversy, diversity, looseness, rebellion, difference, resolution and fracture. Its criticism of all foundations and principles and its adherence to uncertainty fundamentally damage the status and role of youth values education and can easily lead to relativism and historical nihilism, which is not conducive to maintaining social order and enhancing social cohesion (Lash, S., & Urry, J. 1994).

At present, under the impact of marketization, commercialization and globalization, the theoretical views and practical experience of postmodernism have penetrated into all aspects of Chinese social life, affecting not only people's lifestyle and life content, but also people's spiritual outlook, especially the values of teenagers (Lash, S., & Urry, J. 1994). Wu Luping have pointed out, "Postmodern values have indeed infiltrated into the values structure of some young people in developed areas of China, which are embodied in postmaterialistic values, skepticism about science omnipotence, self-focus, pursuit of 'immediate satisfaction', from 'idol worship' to 'star chasers', decline of work value, and change from paying attention to practical and rational consumption to symbolic consumption" (Wu Luping. 2003).

Wen Ping et al., (2005) pointed out that from the 1980s to 2004, teenagers' values experienced an important gradual process, that is, the shift from emphasizing social orientation to emphasizing personal orientation, from ambition and enterprising to pursuing personal comfort and happiness; Ye Songqing (Ye Songqing. 2006) believes that teenagers' values are characterized by positive value consciousness, mild utilitarianism of value orientation, metastable value cognition, idealized value expectation and contradiction in value choice; Xue Zhongxiang (Xue Zhongxiang. 2008) believes that teenagers' values have shifted from collective interests, overall interests, long-term interests, spiritual interests and collective control orientation to personal interests, local interests, immediate interests, material interests and self realization orientation. Another representative national survey points out that there are three basic trends in the evolution of youth values: the shift from group based orientation to individual based orientation, the development from single orientation to multi orientation, Secular value goals replace idealistic value goals (Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 1993).

Although scholars have different research emphases and different opinions on the development trend of teenagers' values, they all admit that teenagers' values tend to be utilitarian, self-centered and diversified in recent years.

Most scholars attribute the problems in the growth of teenagers’ values to many factors, such as social environment, family support, school education, peer groups and so on. With the advent of globalization and postmodern society, teenagers in the period of social transformation are facing severe challenges and tests. As a general term for the social background, postmodernism is an important explanatory variable of teenagers' values. Closely linking the research of teenagers' values with the social background has become the main direction of values research. Sun Liping (Sun Liping. 2003) believes that "contemporary Chinese society is a fractured society with three components of pre-modern, modern and post-modern". We should examine the changes of Chinese youth's values in the context of globalization, and deeply study the postmodern values of youth in developed countries and developed regions of China, which is helpful for us to correctly predict the probabilistic trend of future changes in Chinese youth values (Wu Luping. 2003).

Starting from the postmodern context, the research on teenagers' values is mainly elaborated from its negativity, that is to reveal its negative impact through the analysis of postmodernity in teenagers' values. Li Liaoning (2008) believes that fundamentally speaking, the characteristics of postmodernism are opposite to ideological and political education, which is not conducive to the role of ideological and political education; the life attitude of 'game life' and the casual lifestyle are easy to make teenagers lack lofty ideals and pursue enjoyment". Yuan Zhizhong, & Yi Lianyun. (2008) believes that image communication in the postmodern context is a diversified and uncontrolled communication, which has caused negative effects on teenagers, such as low intellectual hallucination, violent stimulation, moral destruction and so on. Zhong Yibiao (2007) believes that "the essence of youth entertainment subculture is a postmodern consumer culture, aiming at 'deconstructing' tradition and authority, which reflects the action orientation of teenagers advocating fairness and participation, highlights the strong subject consciousness of teenagers, and also reflects their confusion in values to a certain extent". Du Lina & Li baogeng. (2014) points out that through various channels of social life, especially film, television, Internet, books and periodicals, teenagers are influenced by postmodernism, devour it alive and practice it, resulting in their anomie behavior.

Generally speaking, the existing studies mainly focus on the theoretical analysis on negative impact of postmodernism on teenagers' values, while there are few discussions on the constructive role of postmodernism. Although confirm the criticality and negativity of postmodernism thought, them also show that we pay insufficient attention to the constructive role of postmodernism thought.

Based on the above analysis, this study intends to use a large sample and multi center questionnaire survey to make an empirical study on the present status of teenagers' values and the impact of postmodernism on teenagers' values.


2.1 Objects

One thousand adolescents are selected with the stratified random sampling method from grade 7 to grade 11 in the following three cities such as Shenzhen, Qingyuan and Zhanjiang. 893 valid questionnaires are collected, with an effective rate of 89.3%. Among them, there are 461 boys and 432 girls; 206 in grade 7, 211 in grade 8, 166 in grade 9, 172 in grade 10 and 147 in grade 11; 256 in Shenzhen, 308 in Qingyuan and 329 in Zhanjiang.

2.2 Tools: self compiled Adolescent Values Questionnaire

The CNKI, Wanfang database, VIP database, Baidu, google, Pubmed and other search engines are used to search the literatures about youth values, teenagers’values and middle school students' values (1268 in Chinese and 24089 in foreign languages). Based on that, the basic content of the questionnaire are constructed, with a total of 27 items. Combined with the results of 3 collective discussions with 10 representatives of middle school students and 5 experts in the field of secondary education, 4 items were deleted and 2 item was added. The final Adolescent Values Questionnaire involves 25 items devided into 8 dimensions, which includes social participation (participation in school collective activities, donation to disaster areas and relationship with classmates), interpersonal communication (communication mode, objects and content), entertainment consumption (pocket money, snacks, favorite music, whether like watching dynamic (diffuse) pictures), household work, political thought (views on traditional values, raising the national flag), life beliefs (what is happiness, the most admired figures, career choices and ideals), modern consciousness (the most influential media, Internet purposes, entertainment and communication tools), moral concepts (integrity, cheating in exams, moral evaluation and seat giving on the bus).

2.3 Data processing

SPSS 20.0 software is used for statistical analysis. The main statistical methods include descriptive statistics, comparative analysis and logical analysis.


3.1 Overview of teenagers' values

3.1.1 Strong sense of social participation

98.66% of teenagers made it clear that they would try their best to donate to the disaster area. The total number of students who select "I don't donate" and "I don't know what to do" accounted for 1.33%.

85.07% of teenagers participate in collective activities, and 63.19% of teenagers care about the affairs of the class and actively participate in collective activities. They think that participating in collective activities is very interesting and can reduce the pressure of learning. Although 14.93% of teenagers are concerned about the affairs of the class, they are unwilling to participate in collective activities for fear of delaying their study. They have not turned their concern for the class into their own actions, believing that these activities have nothing to do with their vital interests and self pursuit, and conflict with their personal life.

3.1.2 Diversification of interpersonal relationships

36.63% of teenagers have a "good" relationship with their classmates, 40.11% have a "relatively good" relationship with their classmates, 18.33% have a "general" relationship with their classmates, and 4.93% have a "bad" relationship with their classmates; 45.24% of the teenagers think that the classmate relationship should be "as close as brothers and sisters", 48.26% think that the classmate relationship should be "generalized", and 6.5% think that the classmate relationship is irrelevant.

61.27% of teenagers are more willing to make friends in real life than online, and making friends in real life is their main way of making friends; 30.68% of teenagers prefer making friends online, and 8.05% of teenagers don't know which way of making friends they prefer; 95.76% know about online love, 58.45% of teenagers like virtual characters, 21.07% of teenagers don't like virtual characters, and 20.48% of teenagers don't know about it.

When it comes to "whether you can help classmates when they are in trouble", 75.48% of teenagers clearly say they will help, 10.30% say "no", and 14.22% choose "I don't know (may be)". It can be seen that teenagers are generally willing to help others. For teenagers who "may" help their classmates, it depends on the specific situation.

With regard to "there is only one 'Three Good Students' place, which needs to be selected between you and your classmates", 79.62% of teenagers will "compete on an equal footing", and 13.21% of teenagers "have to fight for it". It can be seen that although they value the friendship with their classmates, they will resolutely defend their own interests in case of conflict with their own interests due to their strong sense of competition.

3.1.3 Labeling of consumption and entertainment

42.17% of teenagers have more than 500 yuan of pocket money per month, 50.29% of teenagers have 300-500 yuan of pocket money per month, and 7.54% of teenagers have less than 300 yuan of pocket money per month. The main expenditure items are electronic products (32.4%), clothes (25.7%), books and stationery (19.1%), entertainment and leisure (15.9%) and human consumption (6.9%).

92.25% of teenagers like cartoons, and 80.56% of teenagers like Japanese and Korean cartoons; 87.67% of teenagers like foreign fast food (KFC, McDonald's, etc.); 88.69% of teenagers like popular music and 11.31% like classical music. Most teenagers believe that paying attention to the Popular elements such as cartoons, foreign fast food and popular music can make them have a common language with their classmates, which is easier to be recognized by their classmates rather than become "an alternative". Of course, cartoons, foreign fast food and popular music are also interesting, which helps to adjust the pressure of learning. It can be seen that cartoons, foreign fast food and popular music are pop culture symbols with unique labels. Teenagers' high recognition of them leads the social consumption fashion and shows their postmodern lifestyle and values from another side.

3.1.4 Low enthusiasm for household duties

5.38% of teenagers often do housework, 12.54% of teenagers sometimes do housework, and 82.08% of teenagers do not do housework. Urban teenagers do less housework, and the proportion of girls doing housework is significantly higher than that of boys. Housework can promote mental health, cultivate cheerful and lively personality, improve self-care ability, enhance labor awareness and cultivate labor skills (Li Xintian et al., 2005). Few young people actively participate in housework, which is not conducive to the formation of the above good qualities, hinder their future social adaptation and also explains the values of teenagers' pursuit of happiness and avoidance of hardship and personal standard because doing housework takes up their study and leisure time, but they don't get much reward.

3.1.5 Strong national identity

The top three answers to "the view of raising the national flag" are "very excited" (35.17%), "relatively excited" (31.98%) and "excited" (26.10%), accounting for 93.25% of the total sample. The reason is that "seeing the national flag rising can remind me of the revolutionary martyrs, produce a sense of seriousness, national pride and responsibility, and making our country prosperous". It can be seen that the patriotism of teenagers has been sublimated imperceptibly in "raising the national flag".

3.1.6 Beliefs tend to be diversified

Faith is an individual's view of the whole world, that is, the world outlook and outlook on life. At present, trust crisis is widespread, and faith is particularly important. So what is the life beliefs of middle school students? Researchers mainly investigate teenagers' beliefs from four aspects: the concept of happiness, the most admired characters, career choices and ideals.

As for "what is the greatest happiness in life", 31.02%, 19.15%, 17.58%, 16.83%, 12.24% and 7.85% of teenagers choose "having close friends", "helping others", "having a good partner", "success", "wealth and happiness" and "living comfortably", respectively. It suggests that teenagers' outlook on happiness tends to be diversified. Although their "social" consciousness has begun to germinate, the color of personal standard is also obvious.

When it comes to "what kind of person do you admire most", the teenagers who choose "entertainment stars", "famous scientists", "successful entrepreneurs", "famous politicians" and "themselves" account for 37.85%, 24.08%, 19.68% ,15.84% and 2.55%, respectively. It can be seen that teenagers are willing to find their star idols.

For teenagers, the "Star" they admire is the most charming and capable figure. As a high school student said, "the mood of every day is related to the star, which is definitely the performance of the post-90s to live a more tasteful life". Therefore, becoming a "Star" means the realization of self-worth (they are eager for success) and a shortcut to success. Although they are also aware of the role of effort in success, they prefer to get twice the result with half the effort. This also explains why "Super Girl" and "Happy Girl" are so popular. Generally speaking, most girls admit their stars chasing complex and are fond of talking about stars, ranging from the clothes, food, housing and transportation to the personality and hobbies of stars. Although they know that stars (especially entertainment stars) are not perfect characters, many stars continue to break out negative news such as tax evasion, moral anomie and sexual scandal, they still love "stars". In addition, some teenagers say they worship themselves most. The above situation shows that teenagers have a strong self-awareness. They pursue publicity of personality, but are eager for quick success and instant benefit. In the eyes of most teenagers, stars are successful people and idols. In their view (especially girls), the value of life and the sign of success do not lie in moral cultivation, intelligence or how much contribution to society, but only in wealth, reputation and popularity.

As for "what career do you want to do when you grow up", the proportion of teenagers who choose "doing big things", "being a senior official", "being a business boss", "lawyer", "civil servant", "teacher", "farmer" and "worker" account 24.98%, 20.53%, 18.18%, 16.03%, 13.43%, 6.38%, 0.11% and 0.36%, respectively. It shows that teenagers have high aspirations and are eager to fully expand their talents and pay attention to professional reputation and income, but they lack a clear understanding of their own development, their ideas are not specific and mature enough, and even feel confused about the future development direction; They have a strong desire for success, but lack a clear direction, goal and plan for success. Similarly, with regard to "your life goal", 35.21% of teenagers are positioned as "down-to-earth and practical", 44.76% of teenagers hope to "have a good job", and only 20.03% of teenagers are positioned as "contributing to the country". Whether it is "down-to-earth and practical" or "have a good job" shows the youth's personal standard, but the idea is vague and not specific. Although they have a sense of patriotism, they take meeting their own needs as the premise of patriotism. It is so-called "subjective for themselves, objective for the country".

3.1.7 Moral cognition is more correct, but moral behavior is utilitarian

The socialist concept of honor and disgrace of "Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces" is based on the urgent problems existing in the current social moral construction. It advocates the fine style of loving the motherland, serving the people, advocating science, abiding by discipline and law, being honest and trustworthy, pioneering and enterprising, diligence and innovation, unity and mutual assistance. In the view of "Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces", 80.13% of the teenagers voted in favor, 18.01% voted in favor relately, and 1.86% chose "I don't know" or "I don't care". It suggests that socialist core values have a great impact on teenagers, and the moral cognition of most teenagers is correct.

As for "Will you offer seats to the old, the weak, the sick and the disabled on the bus?", 82.19% of teenagers said they would offer seats on their own initiative, 12.88% of teenagers said "I want to but are afraid of being laughed at by others", and 4.93% of teenagers said "I basically don't offer seats because everyone has bought tickets". It can be seen that most teenagers' public moral consciousness has a positive side, but some teenagers have defects in their psychological quality, such as strong sense of shyness and lack of courage, and fail to transform moral cognition into moral behavior; There are also a few teenagers who have biased cognition of "fairness".

48.76% of teenagers had cheated in tests. When asked "What to do when seeing others cheating in exams", 47.68% of teenagers choose "very disgusted", and the proportion of girls is higher than that of boys; The proportion of those who choose "not disgusted" and "indifferent" is 3.96% and 35.36% respectively, with a total of 39.32%; 17.46% of teenagers cheat in exams and express disgust at others' cheating in exams; 30.57% of teenagers think that cheating in exams is "immoral", but they hold a "indifferent" attitude and think it is "understandable"; 8.75% of teenagers believe that cheating in exams is personal freedom and has nothing to do with morality, so they hold a "indifferent" attitude. It shows that cheating in tests is a common phenomenon among middle school students. Teenagers' view of test cheating tends to be diversified and double standards from the previous unidimensional (simple opposition), and has obvious utilitarian color: Some people resolutely oppose, some people tolerate, and some people admire the successful cheaters; They hold a connivance and tolerant attitude towards themselves, and a "it's none of your business and hang high" attitude towards others.

Integrity requires honesty and trustworthiness, and opposes fraud, concealment and counterfeiting. This study finds that 71.11%, 14.01%, 8.41%, 4.49% and 2.25% of teenagers choose " I am honest", " I am not too much honest", " I am not honest because others are not either ", "I don't know" and " I am not honest" (including "unwilling to tell"), respsctively. It can be seen that most teenagers are honest, but their honesty is limited. The value of honesty has been questioned, and the bottom line of honesty has also been challenged by teenagers.

With regard to "What do you think of the saying 'If someone is not for himself, heaven will punishes him'", 33.82% of teenagers hold a neutral attitude, 39.64% of teenagers agree, 8.06% of teenagers clearly object, and 18.48% of teenagers think "It doesn't matter"; When asked "What do you think of the saying ' Life is short, I should enjoy it in time'", 45.13% of teenagers agree, 28.33% of teenagers "neither agree nor oppose", 9.18% of teenagers clearly oppose, and 17.36% of teenagers think "It doesn't matter".

When asked "Do you think teenagers' morality is better or worse than before", 66.72% of teenagers think it is worse, 12.74% think it is better, and 20.54% can't make a judgment; When asked "Do you think the morality of adults is better or worse than before", 58.48% of teenagers think it is worse, 24.93% think it is better, and 16.59% are unable to make a judgment. Most teenagers believe that there are many immoral things in society and express their concerns. They believe that "Under the influence of the market economy, the morality of teenagers and adults is declining, with uncivilized behavior, selfishness, strong utilitarianism, arrogance and hegemony; crimes occur from time to time, and many teenagers commit crimes, even do anything to make money.

3.1.8 Advocation for a fast-paced lifestyle

The main feature of "Modernity" is "immediacy",which is embodied in the historical concept of pursuing the new and chasing the differences, having a strong linear concept of time and teleology, and advocating rationalism and individual subjectivity (Chen Xuguang. 2004). This study mainly discuss teenagers' modern ideas and consciousness from the following three aspects: the media having the greatest impact on teenagers, the most commonly used communication and entertainment tools for teenagers, and the purpose of surfing Internet.

80.09%, 9.82%, 6.64%, 3.05% and 0.4% of teenagers think that Internet, television, books, newspapers and radio is the media that has the greatest impact on themselves, respectively.

As for the main purpose of surfing Internet, the teenagers who choose learning, social contact and entertainment accounted for 26.27%, 41.53% and 32.20% of the survey sample respectively. It suggested that most teenagers use Internet as a tool for leisure and entertainment rather than learning.

3.2 The development trend of teenagers' values

Through the above description of the characteristics and problems of teenagers' values, we can see that teenagers' values show the following development trends.

3.2.1 Diversified value orientation

From the views of teenagers on "Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces", raising the national flag, participating in collective activities, cheating in exams, giving seats on the bus, honesty and so on, we can see that most teenagers have correct moral cognition, and their sense of collective honor, patriotism, autonomy and justice are very strong. National identity and abiding by discipline and honesty are the mainstream of contemporary teenagers' social consciousness.

However, from the perspective of moral evaluation, teenagers have obvious diversification of moral values with strong utilitarian color, and their moral quality is declining. The first is the diversification of moral values with the coexistence of traditional, modern and post-modern elements: Some people resolutely oppose, some tolerate and admire the successful cheaters; In terms of classmate relations, more than 40% think "very good" and "general", and 6.5% think anything is OK. More than 30% of them make friends in reality and online respectinely, and 8.05% can’t make it unclear; More than 20% of them have a good impression, had no good impression and are not clear about the virtual characters respectinely. Second, the utilitarian color of values is strong: They misinterpreted "fairness", in fact, they were defending their selfishness.

3.2.2 Value judgment and value behavior disorder

Teenagers' value judgment and value behavior have different ways of operation. For example, while lashing out at the bad behavior of others, many of them have their own problems. They regard helping others as happiness, but at the same time, they think that their comfort is happiness; They oppose puppy love, but they often fall in love too early; They believe that "There are many problems in the behavior of our peers and adults, such as drinking, smoking and other bad habits which will have a negative impact on teenagers, and hope adults to correct these problems and set an example for us", but many middle school students also smoke and drink; Some middle school students hate those who cheat in exams, but they cheat in exams; Some middle school students "want to give our seats in bus but are afraid of being laughed at by others (as a result, they didn't give their seats)". This shows that teenagers have the ability to distinguish right from wrong, but their self-control ability is poor. They are very vulnerable to the influence of others, especially peer groups, which makes their personal behavior "derailed" from moral judgment.

3.2.3 Identity crisis germination

A large number of documents point out that the morality of teenagers is declining and bad habits are prevalent on campus (Yuan Zhizhong, & Yi Lianyun. 2008; Ni Maojin, Lu Feng, & Song Qiang. 2021; & Wu Yuehua. 2020), which is also agreed by most of the respondents in this study. Those problem teenagers despise others, behave anomied, and play a dangerous or socially unacceptable role. Its essence is the lack of correct self-awareness, that is, the expression of self-identity crisis.

This study finds that most teenagers use Internet as a tool for leisure and entertainment, rather than a learning tool. It is easy to be infatuated with Internet because the online practical content is single and the recreational activities are rich and colorful, which is more attractive to teenagers. At the same time, teenagers' psychological maturity and endurance are not enough, and their self-control ability is poor. They are very willing to experience happiness and the sense of achievement in the virtual network and reduce the pressure of learning. Therefore, addicting to the network has become an important means for teenagers to escape from reality, wnich can easily lead to their scattered learning energy, withdrawn personality, departure from the code of conduct of the real society, loss of confidence and interest in the real world, and thus loss of self-identity.

3.2.4 Prominent belief crisis

The realization of life value is based on beliefs, which reflects the individuals' pursuit and ideal of life. True and noble beliefs can unify individuals' thoughts, lead them to a bright future and sublimate their personality. Faith is also the spiritual power of social or national unity and endeavor. It has the directional function of life value, the control function of social order, the cohesion function of social forces, the dynamic function of behavior choice and so on. In this study, some teenagers regard being a big boss and making a lot of money as their ideal, which is inseparable from China's successful experience in implementing market economy policies in recent years, effectively promoting national economic strength and improving people's quality of life. However, making economic success the only standard to measure personal success is easy to lead to the prevalence of negative ideas such as individualism and money supremacy, which will eventually lead to people's lack of faith, spiritual emptiness and emotional desert.


From the sociological point of view, the essence of the problems existing in teenagers, such as the polarization of value orientation, the imbalance of value judgment and value behavior, the germination of identity crisis and the prominence of belief crisis, is the so-called "anomie" phenomenon of social psychology. Sociologist Durkheim believes that "there is a special danger in the period of social transformation, that is, the structural changes driven by social division of labor and the changes of moral norms are not always synchronized. In the period when the old moral norms are destroyed and the new moral norms have not been established, there may be a vacuum or 'anomie' state of social moral norms" (Li Min, & Zhang Xiaoshan. 2005). At present, China is in the period of social transformation, and the phenomenon of social "anomie" is becoming more and more prominent, which is particularly obvious in teenagers. From the perspective of postmodernism, the problem of teenagers' values is actually the change of people's living space and living state caused by the change of social life in the process of social transformation, and the result of profound changes in people's self-consciousness, such as the globalization of ideology and social life and the disappearance of the sense of history. As Jonathan Turner, an American sociologist, said, "the fracture of postmodern culture and the fuzziness of symbolic differences make individuals deeply involved in transformation, participate in more and more social categories and define themselves from them, but at the same time, individuals lose their inherent sense of time and space and their identity in social space" (Turner, J. H. 2012). The rise of postmodern consumerism, the prevalence of media culture and the impact of globalization not only make individuals suffer from crushing pressure and confusion, but also accelerate the disintegration of the traditional identity reference system. We can interpret it from the depth and breadth of the influence of postmodernism on teenagers' values.

4.1 Advocating fame and wealth -- the secularization of teenagers' values

4.1.1 The social roots of the concept of pursuing fame and wealth

Postmodern values is a kind of utilitarian values. It emphasizes the individual's pursuit of realistic and real interests and advocates the self-interest view of "subjectively for themselves and objectively for others". Since the implementation of market economy, the material living status of our people has been significantly improved. Abundant material and comfortable life make people pay more attention to economic interests, pursue material enjoyment and pursue fame and wealth, so they ignore the cultivation of morality and the pursuit of ideals. The essence of "fame" and "benefit" is personal interests, which is the premise of personal development. Without personal interests, self-development can not be well realized, and in many cases, individuals are a mixture of self-interest and altruism. Therefore, the pursuit of fame and wealth is not only the legitimate need of individuals, but also the internal driving force of the development of human society. In the era of market economy, individuals want to achieve fame and wealth by providing useful goods or services for the society. Therefore, providing a considerable number and quality of services for the society is a necessary condition for personal self-development. If the quantity and quality of services provided by individuals to society are not large, but they require high "fame" and "profit", that is "utilitarianism". Influenced by the values of postmodern utilitarianism and hedonism, many people blindly pursue fame and wealth and do anything they can to get fame and wealth. Many teenagers have been instilled by their parents since childhood that learning is for college entrance examination and college entrance examination is for getting a good job and making a lot of money. Such "Ideological Education" has no humanistic spirit, which can only make children "seek fame only" and "seek profit only" in the future.

4.1.2 The present status of teenagers' concept of "pursuing fame and wealth"

The two questions of "what do you think of the saying 'if a person is not for himself, heaven will punishe him' and 'life is short, I should enjoy it in time'"? Aim to understand the "outlook on fame and wealth" of teenagers. Opposing to the above two sentences represent the traditional value judgment, "approving" represents the modern values, "neither approving nor opposing" and "indifferent" embody the postmodern characteristics of the concept and behavior of "whatever". What the above answers embody is not only the division of the three values at the same time point, but also the change of values: The traditional negative view has become a weak concept; About half of teenagers hold the attitude of not praising or belittling those that have been considered nothing to do with themselves. It can be seen that the post-modern concept of timely enjoyment and self-interest has become a trend. When asked that "when there is only one place of 'Three Good Students' between you and your classmates", 79.62% of teenagers will "compete on an equal footing", and 13.21% of teenagers "have to fight for myself". It can be seen that although they value the friendship with their classmates, they will resolutely defend their own interests in case of conflict with their own interests due to their strong sense of competition (for "fame and wealth").

With regard to life goals, 35.21% of teenagers are positioned as "down-to-earth and practical", 44.76% want to "have a good job", and only 20.03% are positioned as "contributing to the country". Whether it is "down-to-earth and practical" or "have a good job", it shows that teenagers are personally oriented and very pragmatic. Although they have a sense of patriotism, they take meeting their own needs as the premise of patriotism. The so-called "subjective for their own (interests), objective for the country".

To sum up, the influence of postmodern cultural trend on teenagers' values can not be ignored: In terms of value orientation, self-consciousness is increasing, the value pursuit of personal standard is becoming increasingly prominent, and the utilitarian color of value standard is becoming increasingly strong. This also brings the secularization tendency of teenagers in life, interpersonal communication and other aspects. It should be said that in the context of global economic integration, the values of being realistic and pursuing fame and wealth are necessary to cultivate teenagers' life attitude of actively participating and being brave in competition, which has no substantive conflict with China's traditional values. However, once this thought develops to the extreme, it will lead to the prevalence of unhealthy trends such as individualism and money supremacy, which will impact the mainstream status of China's traditional values. If this secularized values penetrate into the life ideal of teenagers, them will also make teenagers have short vision and no ambition, and only strive for short-term, practical and personal interests, rather than long-term, ideal and overall interests. Although the youth's values that tend to pragmatism and egoism are not completely caused by the postmodern cultural trend, the postmodern utilitarian values have indeed played a great role in promoting it and will play a fatal role in dispelling the traditional values. Therefore, we should correctly guide teenagers' concept of fame and wealth: We should not only cultivate teenagers' mentality of actively participating and reasonable competition, but also guide them to try to increase their talents and realize their life value by making more contributions to the society.

4.1.3 The consumption concept is advanced, and the tendency of advocating fame and fashion motivation are obvious

Consumerism is manifested in high mass consumption, the active intervention and leadership of mass media, and the general pursuit of consumer fashion. Consumer society is not only the realistic basis of the emergence of consumerism cultural values, but also the logical inheritance that must operate under the support of postmodern cultural values. With the economic globalization and the global expansion of transnational capital, consumerism gradually exerts its great worldwide influence.

 Teenagers' consumption identity and symbolic behavior in postmodern context

Restricted by social structure and economic conditions, people's consumption concept will take on different features in various social contexts. In agricultural society, the main purpose of consumption was to meet the needs of individuals’ survival. In the early stage of capitalist society, the values of abstinence, thrift and diligence advocated by Protestantism met the needs of capitalists to realize the rapid accumulation of capital and expansion of social reproduction. In the post-industrial society, the society has entered the period of mass consumption, and consumption is more important than production; At the same time, great changes have taken place in the concept of consumption. In the process of self construction, people put more emphasis on the unique style and taste of consumption and personal life. In the post-modern society, consumption is regarded not only as a dominant cultural symbol, but also as a new social situation. As the French sociologist Buccia said, "In the post-modern era, mankind is in a brand-new image era. The value of goods no longer depends on whether it can meet people's use needs or whether it has exchange value, but on the symbol of the commodity as a cultural function in the exchange system.... any commercial consumption has become the realization of buyers' consumption social psychology and the indication of their social and culture status, as well as the cultural symbol of quality and living standard " (Xie Lizhong, & Ruan Xinbang. 2004). Therefore, in the post-industrial society, what people consume is not the use value of goods and services, but their symbolic value in post-modern culture. Consumers pay more attention to the differences and uniqueness of goods, as well as the taste and quality of life contained in goods and other characteristics. Their consumption activities reflect the self-identity and ideal extension of individuals or groups to a certain extent. In other words, this consumption activity provides various templates for our identity.

At present, the improvement of social economic ability makes it possible for China's mass consumption. Teenagers have become a consumer group with considerable purchasing power and the leaders of fashion consumption. The market mechanism enables the mass media to meet the needs of businesses to expand the market and constantly publicize consumerism values and lifestyle. Affected by this, teenagers show increasingly strong characteristics of consumerism in ideology, identity design and self-identity. Specifically, in terms of communication content, through the promotion of Western Luxury lifestyles, the media continue to instill people with idealized concepts of life and consumption, and become a tool for mass leisure and entertainment; In terms of communication mode, some social celebrities, entertainment celebrities and sports stars adapt to the needs of the market and become idols and spokesmen for teenagers' fashion consumption. Through the selection and combination of these commercialized communication contents, modes and the choose and constitution of symbolic elements, teenagers strive to mark their social position in consumption and obtain the required cultural beliefs and identity, which can be used as the basis for value judgment.

 Fame worship and fashion motivation in teenagers' consumption view

Based on the above consumption identity motivation and symbolic behavior needs in consumption activities, teenagers will choose consumption identity modes according to different situations, properly present the best self-image to others by virtue of their consumption style in line with their own habits, personality and taste, highlight their own life goals, and integrate into their favorite reference group, obtain ideal social position and social belonging for themselves. This study finds that 42.17% of teenagers have more than 500 yuan of pocket money per month, who have the strongest consumption ability. So their consumption activities have strong brand awareness, taste awareness, fashion awareness and interest pursuit, especially in clothing and communication products, reflecting their obvious fame worship and fashion motivation, which shows that teenagers lack enough rational consumption consciousness (Chen Guoping, & Wang Yingxun. 2008).

Under the impact of hedonism, some teenagers have problems in their consumption interests and values, mainly manifested in foreign consumption, ahead consumption, conspicuous consumption and comparison consumption. Regardless of their economic ability, they unrealistically imitate and compare the consumption mode of the high-income class, and regard this alienated consumption mode as a "modern" lifestyle and their ultimate pursuit. Previous studies have shown that 26.8% of middle school students advocate that "the enjoyment of life is the foundation, and the joy of life is to earn and spend" (Kramer, R. et al., 2016). This study also finds that a considerable number of teenagers regard their ideal as being a big boss, earning good money or becoming a star, which also deeply reflects their utilitarian and consumerism values. The proliferation of consumerism is likely to make some teenagers lose the correct consumption evaluation criteria and take the amount of money and the level of consumption as the only symbol of identity and status, which not only increases the economic burden of the family, but also distorts the interpersonal relationship of teenagers to some extent, reduces their spiritual realm and makes them abandon the traditional virtue of hard work, form a bad consumption concept that affects their life style, which will have a bad impact on the shaping of their sound personality and the construction and improvement of their correct outlook on life and values.

 Idolatry -- the "fan" culture of teenagers

 The present siatus of youth "fan" culture

The expression forms of "fan" culture include star fans (idol worship), fashion or pop fans (such as sports fans and car lovers), media fans (such as film and TV fans). Among them, "idol worship" is the most common form of "fan" culture among teenagers.

When it comes to "who do you admire most", 34.67% of teenagers choose "movie star, TV star" and "singer", which have an absolute advantage, significantly higher than other options. Accordingly, in teenagers, the traditional model education is losing its spiritual appeal, behavioral driving force and psychological resonance. Many time models have been teased, ridiculed and vilified by young netizens. This "network spoof" is essentially subversion and desecration of national traditional values.

Most girls admit their star chasing complex and are fond of talking about stars, from their clothes, food, housing and transportation to their personality and hobbies; Many girls still have a "star dream" or a "singer dream". For them, becoming a "Star" means the realization of self-worth and a shortcut to success. From the perspective of social psychology, the formation of teenagers' star chasers is inseparable from the hint, imitation, infection and conformity of group psychology. On the other hand, with the help of the media, mass culture has shaped all kinds of stars familiar to teenagers and created "star chasers": They arouse the worship of star chasers, trigger their strong sense of identity and provide a model for their self realization.

 The essence of "fan" culture

British scholar Chris Rodgerk pointed out that "fan" culture is based on the position of civilians, with a sense of democracy, meets the aspirations and desires of the public, and provides an important integration function for secular society (Rojek, C. 2004). This also explains why grassroots entertainment programs "Super Girl" and "Happy Girl" are popular.

Other scholars believe that "fan" culture is a morbid psychological syndrome of social disorder, an immature and ignorant product of mass culture and a typical mass behavior (McQuail, D. 1997). Baudrillard pointed out that stars, like pop, are a kind of "simulacrum", empty symbols; although they continue to push through the old and bring forth the new and spread widely, they have no specific connotation and have nothing to do with the real world (Poster, M., & Mourrain, J. 2002). From a deeper level, "fan" culture represents the construction of people's new identity in the colorful postmodern period. If celebrities in the past impressed the public with prestige and skills, celebrities in the postmodern period create their self-image with the packaging and popularity of the mass media. Mass media provides teenagers with specific life scripts of idols, so that they can enjoy the life style of idols through various media anytime and anywhere, and they can't escape the star culture. For example, the popularity of Korean dramas has made Korean stars, Korean clothing, Korean beauty and classic Korean love become the fashion pursued and imitated by domestic teenagers. In essence, in the entertainment industry that pursues eyeball effect and maximizes benefits, the advantages of stars are always exaggerated, just as what Dennis McGuire said, "The emergence of 'fans' is encouraged by the media, which is essentially a plot of manipulation and exploitation by the media: Its purpose is to strengthen the connection between the audience and star idols and media products, strengthen self publicity, so as to obtain excessive profits from product sales and other media by-products, and help to prolong the life cycle of products and maximize profits" (McQuail, D. 1997). At present, many stars are famous by hype and constantly create gimmicks and gossip to win the public's attention. They are good at whitewashing and vulgar speculation, and the public's entertainment psychology and aesthetic taste are also low vulgarization. Influenced by the pan entertainment fashion of "entertainment to death", many people become irrational and blindly obedient. Teenagers will also think that as long as they are famous and can make good money, it doesn't matter what means they use. Therefore, they do not pay attention to improving their self-cultivation, and do not cherish their own image and reputation. In fact, teenagers should clearly realize that stars are just a "special commodity" packaged by entertainment and do not worship stars blindly and follow those ways of thinking and behavior that are not in line with real life.

4.1.4 Network -- teenagers' self-identity in virtual society

 Present status of teenagers’using Internet

This study finds that 27.50% and 37.24% of teenagers "often surf Internet" and "sometimes surf Internet" respectively. About 27% of teenagers have PCs, and the three most common useages are "social networking", "entertainment" and "learning". The purpose of leisure and entertainment is higher than that of practicality. About 80.09% of teenagers admit that Internet has the greatest impact on themselves. Why is Internet so attractive to teenagers? Shirley Turk, an American scholar, believes that the network virtual society has the general characteristics of postmodernism, namely "decentralization" and "desubjectivity" (福井孝宗. 2012). On one hand, in the network era, information forms various interconnected networks like the nervous system. This networked communication mode breaks the rigid structure of the traditional social support system in which interpersonal communication is limited by various factors such as income, occupation, education level and power. The interaction between the two sides in the network is an open, equal and free relationship. This has greatly weakened the influence of authoritative roles such as parents and teachers in traditional society, and the role of educational methods that only rely on attitudes, beliefs and values to complete the socialization of teenagers so as to maintain social order and carry out cultural transmission has actually been extremely limited, which is "decentralization". On the other hand, the network society has the function of self construction and self extension. Through the carrier of Internet, people can rediscover and tap their own potential and new characteristics, shape the ideal self-identity and social identity, and realize the "desubjectivity" in the network society. In the network interaction, both the communication object and the communication content can be said to be "my world, I decide", so the personality of teenagers can be fully demonstrated. For example, some teenagers have difficulties in interpersonal communication or learning in real life. Once they enter the network, they can shape the ideal self-image at will through online games or chat and make friends, and easily obtain the value recognition that they are difficult to obtain in real life. Therefore, in the "field" of network interaction, teenagers can obtain a new definition of identity to make up for the defects in real life.

 Network: teenagers' personalized stage space

Sociologist Goffman believes that social life is a big stage, in which everyone is both an actor and an audience; in order to obtain the recognition and praise of others, we need to play roles in strict accordance with the" script expectations "of social norms anytime and anywhere on the stage; The area of role play is divided into two parts: the front desk and the back desk. The front desk is the place where the formal role is played, that is, the area where the audience can see the performance and get a certain meaning from it; Backstage is a place where people can relax and fully express their real behavior style. The real world determines that we can only carry out formal performances of various social norms. Our real thoughts and personality are suppressed to a great extent and can not be effectively vented and released. The uniqueness of Internet lies in its unique interpersonal mode, which makes the suppressed part of our human nature manifest to varying degrees, so that everyone can perform and show themselves at will. We can be either the "ideal me" of the incarnation or the "imaginary me" of the fabrication. Internet provides the stage needed for the narcissistic performance of webworms. This stage has passionate actors and audiences with narcissistic tendencies, as well as unique stage settings that can play the function of narcissism, etc". In fact, this stage is what Goffman calls the "back stage", where people can do whatever they want without being limited by "script expectations" and play their ideal roles with ease. Therefore, in the postmodern context of diversified and fragmented subject identity, in addition to displaying their own characteristics through personalized purchase methods and clothing matching, Internet is another highly influential and widely respected means to meet individuals’ personalized needs. In Internet, teenagers often show their interests and values through space design or personal blog such as the popularity of teenagers' "non mainstream" and Martian. At the same time, they use special language or audio-visual pictures to show their personal taste. This is actually a process of self disclosure and self shaping.

It can be said that on one hand, virtual space makes the hidden and real side of individuals stretch and extend with the help of the Internet, which provides a platform for us to win the advantage impression of others and enable us to affirm our own value in interpersonal communication. Under the great pressure of learning, Internet surfing often becomes a means for teenagers to escape from reality. As long as they shape their ideal identity in the network, they are easy to achieve illusory success, realize virtual self-worth, and be respected by netizens, and this "surreal" successful experience can be strengthened by changing their identity. On the surface, this virtual avatar is a kind of hiding, but in essence, it is another kind of disclosure. What it wants to hide is the rational self constrained by many social norms in the real world, and what it wants to expose is a longing self suppressed and hidden in the heart. From this perspective, Internet is a personalized performance space for teenagers to talk about themselves, appreciate themselves, infatuate themselves and comfort themselves.

 Self identity behind "virtual"

The postmodern "simulacrum" created by "virtual" technology plays a positive role in teenagers' interpersonal communication, information communication, emotional communication, self realization and identity, so that they have more opportunities to shape multiple selves and have more options for self-identity, but its strong postmodern color also brings us a series of problems. In the context of postmodernism, people who take Internet as the communication medium are more and more accustomed to using new ways of thinking to treat social participation, interpersonal relationship and identity. People can construct "ideal" self on the Internet stage at will. Here, the stability of meaning, the truth of knowability and universality are questioned and challenged.

Some scholars believe that with the rise of networking and informatization, virtual socialization, as a socialization mechanism juxtaposed with real socialization, has played a more and more important role in the growth of teenagers. However, virtual socialization ignores the cultivation of the inherent social norms of roles, resulting in the disconnection between the socialization of behavior and the cognitive socialization of role norms, which has made teenagers have identity crisis in role socialization (Feng Xiaotian, & Sun long. 1999); The super temporal and spatial characteristics of the network accelerate the precocious and virtual characteristics of teenagers, and enhance their autonomy in role socialization; However, due to the deauthority of the network, the dynamic adjustment of teenagers' role on the basis of freedom, equality and extensive interaction is also accompanied by the confusion of identity (Ibáñez-Cubillas, P. et al., 2017). In the virtual role socialization, "the multiplicity of identity is an experience of the breaking of the chain between self signifier and signified. People construct the asymmetric self signified of multiple roles and multiple identities and self psychological projection through floating signifier". This strong idealistic color and weak normative constraints can easily lead to the growth of teenagers' network "anomie" and deviant behavior.

4.1.5 Avoiding sublimity -- the lack of faith and moral sense

 Present situation of lack of belief and moral sense

This study finds that many teenagers dream of making good money or becoming a star rather than being a scientist, suggesting the lack of "social responsibility" in Chinese traditional values in the context of postmodernism. They do not have the ideal of closely combining their self ideal with the dream of family and country - they do not have the grand ambition of "cultivating self-cultivation, governing the country and flattening the world", nor do they have the family and country feelings of " coverage of one's own while less income, generous to support others if getting rich ". Some teenagers give "responsibility" a new meaning and think that responsibility is a neutral concept that has nothing to do with morality. It is no longer the appendage of the "ego" as the "big ego", but reflects a transformation of individuality - The responsibility for the country, the nation and the society should be transformed into the responsibility for themselves: If you live well, you are responsible for the society. That is what we often say, "If one person is happy, the whole world is happy". In them, we can find the influence of postmodernism: In terms of value orientation, the self-consciousness of subject is increasingly strengthened, the value pursuit of individual standard is increasingly prominent, the utilitarian color of value standard is increasingly strong, and they are more tolerant of different value orientations; In the way of life, they refuse to rely on others, yearn for independence, and like to act, design and experience life according to their own wishes and values. They try their best to get rid of the shackles of traditional ideas and management system, advocate the life philosophy of material supremacy, pursue the life concept of happiness supremacy, and stress the life logic of personal supremacy; They believe in "self worship"; Aiming at pursuing novelty and uniqueness, they are good at challenging and seizing opportunities, and try to show their value by various innovative behaviors (not necessarily innovation). They love to play, play "cool" and publicize their personality, but they don't care about other people's comments.

 The root of adolescents’ belief crisis

Teenagers have a cultural psychology of being willing to accept new things, a strong rebellious cultural mentality and a cultural character of publicizing themselves. Therefore, various problems and mentality of social transformation and multiculturalism are always reflected in them to the greatest extent. They are keenly aware of the new trend of life in the times and are not satisfied with the established cultural rules and requirements. Starting from their own characteristics such as emotion, thought and way of thinking, they use their own way to carry out non violent fierce confrontation against the traditional social culture, actively explore and experiment the new culture and new way of life, and transform, promote or create new social culture, and become the leader of pop culture in the new era. We find that teenagers show an optimistic and positive mental outlook on the whole, but due to the influence of materialism and utilitarianism, they also show the problem of lack of faith.

On one hand, this is inseparable from the market economy. Many people regard economic success as the only standard to measure a person's success, leading to the popularity of the concept of individualism and money supremacy, people's lack of faith, increasingly empty mind and desert emotion; On the other hand, when people's belief in God gradually fades, society needs entertainment to distract people's attention from the painful facts such as structural inequality and meaningless survival. Celebrities and wonders fill this void, thus creating entertainment worship and making the society ruled by a shallow and flashy commodity culture (Kramer, R. et al., 2016). In order to improve the audience rating, the media has constantly launched all kinds of vulgar, blasphemous and nonsense entertainment programs. In the laughing and scolding of the fictional life scenes and story plots, some teenagers gradually weaken their thinking and pursuit of the meaning of life, lose their faith, and have the tendency of decadent outlook on life and lost values, which will dispel the social ideal, moral reflection and aesthetic judgment based on rationality, and eventually lose their meaning, drown their personality and become one-way people. As Daniel Bell said, "every society should try to build a meaning system through which people can show their connection with the world. These meanings are reflected in religion, culture and work. The loss of meaning in these fields will lead to a confused and unbearable situation, which forces people to pursue new meaning as soon as possible, so as not to turn everything else into a sense of nihilism or emptiness "and fall into a spiritual crisis (Bell, D. 1978)".

Middle school is an important period for teenagers to form beliefs, but at the same time, their thoughts are not mature, their value judgment of some things is still in the superficial stage, and they still lack deep thinking about the meaning of life. In addition, under the influence of the popular fast food consumption culture, it is easy to shape young people into the "one-sided persons" who lack of ideological depth, have no value pursuit, loss of active thinking, loss of critical ability with superficial emotional response (such as thinking that happiness is money or being comfortable). "The weakness of morality, the mediocrity of character, the loss of the boundary between good and evil and the new enslavement state are actually the biggest practical moral dilemma faced in the postmodern period".


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