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Vision Of Youth Essay, Research Paper

John Bishop

Grammar Class

Vision of young people nowadays

In my country, Vietnam, the economic development process since 1986 can be classified into three periods, 1986-89: the economic was centrally planned and highly inefficient, and relied on external assistance, 1990-95: Vietnam faced and embarked on its “Doi Moi” program (renovation) towards an open market- oriented economy, and 1996 to present: Vietnam has been embarking “Doi moi” program. Here, I want to discuss about the last period toward young people. The post “Doi moi” generation emerges as a distinct consumer group with its own tastes and values. There’s a general sense of urgency among Vietnamese youngsters these days, striving to get on and improve their chances of financial success and development.

The young people are looking for the world around them, both in and outside the country, for their global contemporaries, and they are making their own decisions about the kind of lives they want, and how they should go about achieving it. The influence of “Doi moi” has affected more acutely to the young than anyone else – dramatically impacting their lifestyles, hopes and aspirations. According to a recent qualitative study conducted by ACNielsen Vietnam’s Activate unit, the survey talked to males and females aged 18-23 in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Capital to understand exactly how life standing with them these days. It would appear that the days of working towards the collective good are fading fast when the emphasis shifts to the individual. There is a clear understanding among the young that personal success depends on a good education, computer and English language skills. They are the first generation to be legitimately exposed to foreign influences in areas as diverse as fashion, music, language, world affairs and entertainment options. They are living in a period of impressive economic growth and are enjoying the fruits of increased disposable income.

It is wrong to assume that this youth culture is merely a mirror image of that in other countries. Adopting and developing features of a defined Vietnamese youth culture is taking place within the confines of strong societal and cultural influences. They are setting their own agenda, and selecting or dismissing those elements of emerging youth culture as they see fit. Therefore, body copied and alternative lifestyles are taboo, and most reject overt hedonism and individualism as too extreme. It is a rather conservative youth culture, one that in its own way is testing the boundaries of acceptance and attempting to balance new found freedom and opportunities within well defined cultural norms. Because it is radical changes of society, conformity is an underlying theme. Although youngsters stress the need for “individualism”, acceptance within the group remains a powerful drive. Individuality and acceptance by the group, family and state deny pure individualism. The influence of the group, family and state all serve as powerful checks on the direction of emerging youth culture.

The “Doi moi” program and its continuing impact on everyday lives is doing that. Some young people embrace their new freedoms and opportunities in a more forthright and demonstrable manner than others, who appear to be more cautious. There are many groups of youngsters, however, there are two main hedonism and traditional groups. The first group, they tend to come from better off families. They embrace their new found opportunities in personal and social life. As the name suggests, they live for the moment, are less concerned about their future, spend less time studying and concentrate on having a good time. Their parents fund their diverse social scene. They are more experimental in their selection of things to do and are fashion and brand conscious, using them as status badges of “cool”. Brands as badges to signify knowing what’s cool and what’s in are the key for the Here and Nows and the better-off Strivers. Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Nike, D&G, Versace and Gucci are all considered signifiers of cool, as are Viva and Honda Dream motorcycles. Local MTV is a hit, along with videos of recent US films. Hong Kong and Korean films are also in. In contrast, the traditional group, the largest element of the youngsters, is far more conservative in their association with contemporary youth culture. Education, qualifications and getting on are key drivers – hence their dedication to study and self-improvement. Nightclubs, bars, fashion and brands are of less importance. They demonstrate a greater strategic awareness of the importance of qualifications in the face of a changing workplace. Therefore, this group carries wise heads on young shoulders although that is not to say it is all work and no play. Their social lives tend to center on more predictable and “safer” activities. Friends and general socializing are key factors.

In parallel with other youth cultures, the emergence of a desire “to be myself and to be accepted as such” is a common concern. While this concern is embryonic, it highlights the development of youth culture in my country, and it also reinforces the importance of youth as a distinct consumer segment with its own desires and aspirations. Gone are the days of a passive youth market – young people are now collectively and metaphorically raising their profile. They are a distinct segment of the population and deserve to be treated as such. However, it is tempered with an acknowledgement that certain social and cultural boundaries dictate conformity. There is general awareness of the social evils (drugs, casual sex, prostitution, corruption, unemployment and hedonism) that accompany economic liberalization.

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