Decline of the Rave Inspired Clubculture in China: State Suppression, Clubber Adaptations and Socio-cultural Transformations

Matthew M Chew

Abstract


This study examines the development of rave inspired clubculture in China between the late 1990s and the present. It focuses in particular on the harsh suppression of clubland by the Chinese state in 2000, the reactions of clubbers and the club industry, and the clubcultural transformations that resulted from the suppression. A nationally coordinated anti-drug campaign that specifically targeted dance clubs was orchestrated by the central government and it has forced many clubs to close down. The rent-seeking practices of local officials also greatly intimidated clubbers. Clubbers and club operators adapted to the adverse circumstances by transforming club spaces and inventing new club practices. Although these adaptations have kept clubculture alive, they also generated negative socio-cultural impacts: the undermining of sociality inside dance clubs, the weakening of the communal dimension of clubculture and the exacerbation of socio-economic stratification in clubland.

Keywords


clubculture; night-time economy; sociality; dance clubs; rave party; Ecstasy; Chinese nightlife

Full Text:

PDF HTML