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Ant tribe

Author: 廉思
ISBN: 9787563390069
Original Region: China
Original Language: Simplified Chinese
Publication Date: 2009
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Rights sold:
Japan , China
Rights sold (language):
Japanese , Simplified Chinese


“Ant tribe” is a mirror or epitome of “an inhabited group of low income college graduates”. It considered to be another group after the three vulnerable groups (farmers, migrant workers and laid-off workers) in China: while being well educated, they are mainly engaged in some temporary jobs such as insurance sales, electronic equipment sales, advertising marketing, food and beverage services, educational training and so on. Some of them are even unemployed or underemployed. With an average monthly income fewer than 2000 Yuan, majority of them have no " Social insurance" and labor contracts. Besides, nine out of ten are born during and after the 1980s, average age between 22 and 29. They are mainly live in rural-urban fringe zone or suburban country, which forms a unique “settlement village”. They share the similarity with ants, “weak but strong survivor”. However, they are the large group of people rarely known by us.

The author is the director of the Chinese state-level project:Potential Crisis: the Study of ‘An Inhabited Group of Low Income College Graduates’ (Ant Tribe) in China and Social Stability . He leads the research group to do field research. His research reports about this group gain high attention from China’s decision-makers.

It is a book of 200’000 words with dozens of pictures. These touching words and inspiring pictures show whole scene of the real “post 1980s”: the halo of “the proud children of heaven” can’t benefit them anymore. Their situation is much more worrying than ordinary people’s; their young and fragile hearts are beard with haunted youthful dreams...They represent the most sensitive community who cannot be and should not be neglected by our society. Moreover, they reveal pain, helplessness and anxiety of one generation.

The resonance of the Work

Ant Tribes---University graduates agglomerated settlement villages Memoir came out in september 2009. Thereafter, “ant tribes”, the huge silent group in the cities, as one polar of Chinese society, steps on the Chinese discourse stage in the true sense.

Hundreds of domestic media, such as Xinhua News Agency,People's Daily ,Reference News ,China's Economic Times ,China Youth News ,China Daily ,South Weekend ,Guangzhou Daily ,the Chinese Businessmen Newspaper ,Reader ,South Wind Window ,Phoenix Weekly ,the South People Weekly ,News Magazine ,the Times ,China Youth , China National Radio, CCTV, TVB of Hong Kong, Beijing TV, Shanghai TV, Hunan TV, and Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Limited, etc, published the reports on Ant Tribes and the interviews to the author Lian Si in succession. There are media reporting: "Ant Tribes" has become a popular term as “Zhi Qing” which means educated youth.

The book has also caused the attention of many international well-known media,such as the Reuters, KyodoNews, AFP, ITAR-TASS, CNN, BBC, al-Ǧazīrä, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Tokyo News Agency of Japan, Asahi Shimbun News Agency, the Yomiuri Shimbun "and so on.

The prizes and awardsAnt Tribes won are as follows:

Ant Tribes , as the only works in publish circle, received the “2009 China media special salute” of Southern Weekend.

“Ant tribe phenomenon” was rated as 2009 annual education events by Sina, and won the 2009 Top 10 Big News.

Ant Tribes won the fifth (2009) “Annual Top 10 Books” of Huashang Morning Journal

The term “Ant Tribe” is at the first place in the Top 10 Popular Terms, according to the “Annual Hot Word List of 2009” released by the China encyclopediaic site "interactive encyclopedia".

In the awards of "2009 Phoenix·baidu Current Boiling Point Events", "Ant Tribe Phenomenon" was elected " Affecting Age Event in Social Class” by search of 20 million, 8252 times on baidu.

In 2009 China's Influential Book Selection,Ant Tribes , won "Top Ten Non-literary Books”

“Ant Tribe” owned “2009 Top Ten Catchword” published by “Speak Like a Book” with high vote.

Ant Tribes was elected "2009 Chinese Media Annual Book " by more than 30 domestic media together. Critics comment: “owing to the existence ofAnt Tribes , the book market of 2009 does not look so desolate”.

In 2010,Ant Tribes won "Wenjin Book Award” of the National Library, and Lian Si becomes the only post-80 author to get the award in history.

Lian Si was elected “Annual Character of 2010 in China” by South Wind Window.

In December 2010, Lian Si and his team released Ant Tribes Ⅱ – Whoes Time It Is. The seminar furthered their research in the ant tribes settled villages, expanding their researches to the whole country and released the first nationwide survey report - 2010 China's "ant tribes" survival report.

In June 2012, the term “ Ant Tribe” was included in China's most authoritative dictionary "modern Chinese dictionary" (6th edition). On page 1539, it impressively writes, "ant tribe: (Noun) refers to young people with higher education, inhabit in the connection areas of urban and rural or in the rural suburbs and work for others in big cities.

On the Internet, webs related with "ant tribes" are more than 10 million. The serial of the book “Ant Tribes ” ranks at the very front with high click on the lists on Tencent and Netease, which arouses a large number of resonance of the netizens-"I am a member of ant tribe, I check in "; "I'm not inhabit in the ant tribe settled villages, but I am also one of them" -- such replies are countless online. Young people who need to “stand alone” in society have all experienced humble, uncertainty, and anxious times. In a sense, "the book Ant Tribes is the spiritual sample of contemporary young people.

The phenomenon reflected inAnt Tribe has also caused the concern of the central authorities’ leaders. On December 25th, 2009, the 12th meeting of the 11th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress focused on the existence and development of “ant tribe”. During the period of “NPC & CPPCC”, ant tribe” became the heated topic of the representatives of “NPC & CPPCC”.

About the Author

Lian Si is a doctor of law, postdoctoral researcher, professor and visiting scholar of Sociology Department of Chicago University.

He coined the word “Ant Tribe” and is the first person who studies the “Ant Tribe”group. The research team led by him is well-known by their outstanding social investigation, field study experiences and people visiting who formulate a research style of academic innovation and mass readability.

Lian Si holds a concurrent post as the consultant of China Youth Development Foundation. He is also a researcher of the Peking University’s center for China in the World, adjunct professor of Henan Normal University, visiting professor of Wenlan Rostrum in Zhejiang Library and so on.

In 2007, Lian Si led his researching team and began to study the phenomenon of “Ant Tribe”. In 2009, he published the book -- “Ant Tribe ”----a memoir of college graduates’ inhabited life in which the concept of “Ant Tribe” was first proposed. Then, it immediately attached intensified attention from society and raised further discussions. In 2011, he published another book: “Ant Tribe II”-Whose Time It Is which extended the sensationalized effect of “Ant Tribe”.

For the last three years, Lian Si’s research reports about “Ant Tribe” have gained comments and high attention from the Chinese central leadership on many occasions.

Publishers ( United States ) and Authors ( China ) are negotiating on this book 2012/12/06
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