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Masculinities in Lifestyle Magazines

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the construction of consumerist middle-class masculinities in postsocialist China by focusing on a new site of popular culture and consumerism that has arisen in recent years, men's lifestyle magazines. One of the fastest-growing magazine sectors in today's China, these publications illustrate changing concepts of manhood in a consumer society. Highly priced and targeted at affluent executives and businessmen in Chinese cities, they represent and cater to the demands and fantasies of the emerging social group popularly known as the "middle class", who are economically privileged and obsessed with status. The chapter seeks to map out changes in male subjectivities within this group, and argues that masculinities in contemporary Chinese society must be examined in the context of social stratification and class formation.

Keywords: consumerism; lifestyle magazines; middle-class masculinities; popular culture; postsocialist China



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