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An Authoritarian Undercurrent in the Postmaterialist Tide: The Rise of Authoritarianism Among the Younger Generation in China


Social Science Quarterly

Published online on


["\n\nObjective\nThis study examines how the political context of socialization affects the political orientations of the younger generation in China.\n\n\nMethods\nUsing four national surveys and multiple indicators of authoritarian orientation, this study compares Chinese generations with multilevel ordered logistic regression and linear regression.\n\n\nResults\nOur analysis shows that the younger generation, Xi generation, is more orientated toward authoritarianism than its preceding generations, while its previous generation, Hu generation, was not more authoritarian than its prior generations when the Hu generation was the youngest in the survey.\n\n\nConclusion\nAgainst the influential modernization theory, which predicts young generations to be more critical of the status quo, we conclude that the younger generation in China is on the authoritarian side of the spectrum and this generational pattern is more likely to be caused by heightened authoritarianism in the political context of socialization than a life‐cycle effect.\n\n", "Social Science Quarterly, EarlyView. "]