Loughborough University
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China's skateboarding youth culture as an emerging cultural industry

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posted on 2018-08-08, 07:34 authored by Chuang (Austin) Li
This thesis focuses on the skateboarding industry in China as both a youth subculture and a cultural industry. I am investigating the transition between the two and examining how the emerging skateboarding industry operates through detailed analysis of the feelings, motivations and meanings attributed to it by its participants and the emerging strata of cultural workers. In order to achieve this research objective, this thesis has positioned the analysis in a triangle of forces between the development of Chinese skateboarding culture, the emerging skateboarding cultural industry and government interventions. This ethnographic study takes into account distinctive characters in the development of Chinese skateboarding communities that signify continuities inside contemporary Chinese youth cultures. I argue that such continuity is still embedded in the organisation of the Chinese skateboarding industry as a cultural industry, in both subcultural and corporate entrepreneurial practices. Moreover, this thesis contributes to ongoing discussions in the field of not only cultural studies but also of the political economic analysis of cultural/creative industries by examining the dynamic incorporations at play between the commercial and governmental forces at the centre of current debate around the inclusion of skateboarding in the Olympic Games, and the consequences of the sportisation of skateboarding in mainstream economic structures. Last but not least, this research captures the working conditions of the cultural labourers who are at the forefront of shaping and reshaping the Chinese skateboarding industry.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Li, Austin

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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