内卷

yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
大家好!

A 网友 of mine was recently talking to me about the concept of 内卷. Does anyone know exactly what this term means? Also, how do you pronounce the second character in the word? Is it juǎn or juàn?
Thanks!
 
  • SuperXW

    Senior Member
    我的理解:本来,“发展”应该是规模越来越大,越走越远,但遇到某种阻碍或瓶颈,就像一个平台,无法再向外扩张延伸,但人还在增加其面积,它只能向内卷起来。就像现在外部市场受限,内部竞争就越发激烈,本来应该是evolution,变成了involution。
     

    SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    I suspect that is a sociological term. I actually learnt it one or two years ago, and at first, I felt equally confused, since it didn't (and doesn't) sound natural.

    It seems to be a popular word in the mainland, and is gaining popularity here too. I guess that it's particularly common in economic or business columns or academic essays. (I am a business student, and I'd say, many business people have a preference for novel, specialised terms, for some reason.)

    EDIT: I've just found this picture and I like it so much, that I feel it would be a pity if it didn't get shared:

    1651808347942.png
     
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    garbage_cnbeta

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    1651888275515.png

    Some individuals all expanding in a same close space, they have to grow curly to get lengthier.
    If people can't overcome outside competitors to win more benefits, they have to do inner curliness (内卷) -- compete with inner competitors.
     
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