The Temporal Experience of Chinese Students Abroad and the Present Human Condition
安德斯·汉森（Anders Sybrandt Hansen），丹麦奥尔胡斯大学（Aarhus University）人类学助理教授，研究领域：当代中国社会与文化，目前主要关注中国大学生的入党现象、华人移民如何融入全球资本主义经济体系、中国的海外留学生等。他发表的论文有：“Guanhua! Beijing Students, Authoritative Discourse and the Ritual Production of Political Compliance”(2017), “The Temporal Experience of Chinese Students Abroad and the Present Human Condition”(2015), “Purity and Corruption: Chinese Communist Party Applicants and the Problem of Evil” (2013) 以及“Learning the Knacks of Actually Existing Capitalism: YoungBeijing Migrants and the Problem of Value ”(2012).
This lecture examines the experiences of Chinese elite university students abroad through the lens of temporality. In the struggle to get ahead, elite students are expected to carefully deploy their time. Studying abroad, it is argued, has become one more step in a culturally idealised temporal arrangement of how one is expected to go about advancing. The downside to this ethics of striving is shown to be a pervasive sense of restlessness (浮躁, fuzao). The lecture shows how relocating to a different life environment allowed a group of elite students to respond to their temporal predicament in existentially creative ways that registered socially as personal maturation. It is argued that these responses were set in motion by the students’ inhabiting an expanse of not-yet-purposeful time. Treating the temporal experience of Chinese elite students as a pronounced inflection of an increasingly global temporal mode of striving, the article enquires into the temporality of the present human condition.