Negotiating Masculinities in Late Imperial China

University of Hawaii Press
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Why did traditional Chinese literati so often identify themselves with women in their writing? What can this tell us about how they viewed themselves as men and how they understood masculinity? How did their attitudes in turn shape the martial heroes and other masculine models they constructed? Martin Huang attempts to answer these questions in this valuable work on manhood in late imperial China. He focuses on the ambivalent and often paradoxical role played by women and the feminine in the intricate negotiating process of male gender identity in late imperial cultural discourses. Two common strategies for constructing and negotiating masculinity were adopted in many of the works examined here. The first, what Huang calls the strategy of analogy, constructs masculinity in close association with the feminine; the second, the strategy of differentiation, defines it in sharp contrast to the feminine. In both cases women bear the burden as the defining "other." In this study, "feminine" is a rather broad concept denoting a wide range of gender phenomena associated with women, from the politically and socially destabilizing to the exemplary wives and daughters celebrated in Confucian chastity discourse.
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About the author

Martin W. Huang is professor of Chinese at the University of California, Irvine.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Hawaii Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2006
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Pages
284
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ISBN
9780824828967
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / China
Literary Criticism / Asian / Chinese
Literary Criticism / General
Psychology / Human Sexuality
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Gender Studies
Social Science / Men's Studies
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This content is DRM protected.
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