Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities: A Reader / Edition 1

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The past two centuries have witnessed tremendous upheavals in every aspect of Chinese culture and society. At the level of everyday life, some of the most remarkable transformations have occurred in the realm of gender. Chinese Femininities/Chinese Masculinities is a mix of illuminating historical and ethnographic studies of gender from the 1700s to the present.

The essays in this highly creative collection are organized in pairs that alternate in focus between femininity and masculinity, between subjects traditionally associated with feminism (such as family life) and those rarely considered from a gendered point of view (like banditry). The chapters provide a wealth of interesting detail on such varied topics as court cases involving widows and homosexuals; ideal spouses of early-twentieth-century radicals; changing images of prostitutes; the masculinity of qigong masters; sexuality in the era of reform; and the eroticization of minorities. While most of the essays were specifically written for this volume, a few are reprinted as a testament to their enduring value.

Exploring the central role of gender as an organizing principle of Chinese social life, Chinese Femininities/ Chinese Masculinities is an innovative reader that will spark new debate in a wide range of disciplines.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520221161
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/7/2002
  • Series: Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 474
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Brownell is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She is the author of Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People's Republic (1995). Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is Associate Professor of History at
Indiana University. He is the author of Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (1991) and coeditor of Popular Protest and Political Culture in China (1994).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Theorizing Femininities and Masculinities 1
Pt. I Gender and the Law (Qing Dynasty) 43
1 Femininity in Flux: Gendered Virtue and Social Conflict in the Mid-Qing Courtroom 47
2 Dangerous Males, Vulnerable Males, and Polluted Males: The Regulation of Masculinity in Qing Dynasty Law 67
Pt. II Ideals of Marriage and Family (Mid-Qing Dynasty and Early Republican Era) 89
3 Grooming a Daughter for Marriage: Brides and Wives in the Mid-Qing Period 93
4 "The Truths I Have Learned": Nationalism, Family Reform, and Male Identity in China's New Culture Movement, 1915-1923 120
Pt. III Gender in Literary Traditions (May Fourth Era to Reform Era) 145
5 Invention and Intervention: The Making of a Female Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature 149
6 The Self Loving the Self: Men and Connoisseurship in Modern Chinese Literature 175
Pt. V Dangerous Women and Dangerous Men (Late Ming Dynasty to Early Communist Period) 195
7 Modernizing Sex, Sexing Modernity: Prostitution in Early-Twentieth-Century Shanghai 199
8 Approximations of Chinese Bandits: Perverse Rebels, Romantic Heroes, or Frustrated Bachelors? 226
Pt. V The Gender of Rebels (Cultural Revolution) 251
9 Maoist Mappings of Gender: Reassessing the Red Guards 255
10 "Little Brothers" in the Cultural Revolution: The Worker Rebels of Shanghai 269
Pt. VI Blood, Qi, and the Gendered Body (Qing Dynasty and Reform Era) 287
11 Blood, Body, and Gender: Medical Images of the Female Condition in China, 1600-1850 291
12 Embodying Qi and Masculinities in Post-Mao China 315
Pt. VII Shifting Contexts of Gender and Sexuality (Reform Era) 331
13 Past, Perfect or Imperfect: Changing Images of the Ideal Wife 335
14 Proper Men and Proper Women: Parental Affection in the Chinese Family 361
Pt. VIII Gender Sexuality, and Ethnicity (Reform Era) 381
15 Gender and Internal Orientalism in China 385
16 Tradition and the Gender of Civility 412
Afterword: Putting Gender at the Center 435
Contributors 447
Index 451
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  • Posted December 29, 2012

    evolution underway

    A great collection of insights from many angles on gender in China. The articles touch on the changing faces of law, crime, medicine, obscenity, rebellion, pollution, romance, and more. Through it all, we have a drama of conflicting visions for better relations between the sexes. We have a longing for equality, but with rapidly changing images of what equality looks like. It's a helpful comparison with similar developments in the West.

    --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization

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