Long the exclusive domain of elderly gossips, neighborhood committees are looking to recruit new blood—but can they offer what millennials need?

“Everyone who comes to the neighborhood committee has their own story,” says Ms. Song, as she updates her local committee’s Weibo account.

Many people view neighborhood committees (juweihui) like Song’s as the preserve of the old, the middle aged, and the idle. “When I took the recruitment exam, I thought so too,” Song admits. Instead, other than the senior management, many of her co-workers are members of the “post-80s and 90s generation,” as millennials are known in China.

And the recruitment exam is no mere formality, either. Along with the written exam—which includes questions on Marxism, “Party building,” and Chinese society, as well as a written essay—there is a physical exam and interview to pass, on top of management and people skills to master.

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Vigil Aunties is a story from our issue, “The Masculinity Issue.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


Julia Zhou is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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