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Masculinities at Home

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on masculinity at home and in the family, and examines evidence from informants, journals, and self-help literature to see how these arguments might help us make sense of the Chinese case. It investigates the most prominent subject positions associated with familial masculinity, some newer than others, among them the recent figure of the emotionally expressive and caring family man, the more established "anxious breadwinner", and the marginal gay man in the family. The chapter discusses China's new husbands, fathers, and sons, their claims of marital equality and the "reality" behind the assertions, as well as the multiple pressures they are under. It also analyses the queering of family relationships. Advice literature from the Ming and Qing dynasties placed heavy responsibilities upon the menfolk of the family. It came in two categories: "household instructions" and "collections of aphoristic sayings".

Keywords: contemporary China; familial masculinity



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