The Cosmopolitan Dream: Transnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age

Hong Kong University Press
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The Cosmopolitan Dream presents the broad patterns in the transformations of mainland Chinese masculinity over recent years, covering both representations (in film, fiction, and on television) and the lived experiences of Chinese men on four continents. Exposure to transnational influences has made Chinese notions of masculinity more cosmopolitan than ever before, yet the configurations of these hybrid masculinities retain the imprint of Chinese historical models.
With the increasing interconnectivity of markets around the world, the hegemonic mode of manhood is now a highly mobile transnational business form of masculinity. However, the fusion of this kind of cosmopolitanism with Chinese characteristics has not diminished the conventional class and gender privileges for educated men. On the other hand, the traditionally prized intellectual masculinity in Chinese culture, which did not hold commerce in high regard, has reconciled with today’s business values. Together these factors shape the outlook of the contemporary generation of Chinese elites. At the same time globalization has increased the cross-country mobility of blue-collar Chinese men, who may possess a masculine ideal that is different from their white-collar counterparts. Therefore it is important to examine various types of masculinity with the recent, reform-era mainland Chinese migration. The migrant man—whether he is a worker, student, pop idol, or writer (all cases studied in this volume)—could face challenges to his masculinity based on his race, class, intimate partners, or fatherhood. The strategies adopted by the Chinese men to reinvent their masculine identities in these stories offer much insight into the complex connections between masculinity and the rapid socioeconomic developments of postsocialist China.
The Cosmopolitan Dream provides a rich and multidisciplinary window into how Chinese masculinities are both shaping and being shaped by a new era of globalization, one in which circulations of Chinese capital, images, and people play an ever more important role. This is an insightful and engaging work that makes important contributions to the study of media, gender, migration, and globalization more broadly.”
John Osburg, University of Rochester

“A pioneering contribution toward understanding transnational Chinese masculinities. Covering both imagined representations and the actual experience of migrating Chinese men, this volume is definitely greater than the sum of its parts in conveying the contents and significance of cosmopolitanism to Chinese masculinities.”
Harriet Zurndorfer, Leiden University
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About the author

Derek Hird is a senior lecturer in Chinese studies at Lancaster University, UK. Geng Song is an associate professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. They edit the “Transnational Asian Masculinities” book series for Hong Kong University Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hong Kong University Press
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Published on
Sep 6, 2018
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Pages
260
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ISBN
9789888455850
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Gender Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The past two decades witnessed the rise of television entertainment in China. Although television networks are still state-owned and Party-controlled in China, the ideological landscape of television programs has become increasingly diverse and even paradoxical, simultaneously subservient and defiant, nationalistic and cosmopolitan, moralistic and fun-loving, extravagant and mundane. Studying Chinese television as a key node in the network of power relationships, therefore, provides us with a unique opportunity to understand the tension-fraught and , paradox-permeated conditions of Chinese post-socialism.

This book argues for a serious engagement with television entertainment. rethinking, It addresses the following questions. How is entertainment television politically and culturally significant in the Chinese context? How have political, industrial, and technological changes in the 2000s affected the way Chinese television relates to the state and society? How can we think of media regulation and censorship without perpetuating the myth of a self-serving authoritarian regime vs. a subdued cultural workforce? What do popular televisual texts tell us about the unsettled and reconfigured relations between commercial television and the state? The book presents a number of studies of popular television programs that are sensitive to the changing production and regulatory contexts for Chinese television in the twenty-first century.

As an interdisciplinary study of the television industry, this book covers a number of important issues in China today, such as censorship, nationalism, consumerism, social justice, and the central and local authorities. As such, it will appeal to a broad audience including students and scholars of Chinese culture and society, media studies, television studies, and cultural studies.

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