Asia’s Growing Generation Gap: Causes and Consequences


Harvard-Yenching Institute Annual Roundtable

March 27, 2018

Link to video:


  • Prof. Cho Haejoang, Emerita, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University
  • Prof. Ishida Hiroshi, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
  • Prof. Teresa Kuan, Department of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Prof. Shen Yifei, Department of Sociology, Fudan University

Moderator: Elizabeth Perry (Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government, Harvard University; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute)

This roundtable aimed to exchange ideas about the sources and possible significance of generational differences in contemporary Asia. Panelists discussed the question of how recent trends in social media, popular culture, education, demography, labor markets, etc., have led to differences in identity and outlook between young people and their parents in various Asian countries, and what the future impact of such generational differences may be. Are the younger generations of different Asian countries being drawn closer together by shared technology and popular culture, or are they being pushed further apart by growing nationalism, for example?

This event was co-sponsored with the Asia Center, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Korea Institute and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies