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Epilogue: Performing Manhood in Contemporary China

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Chapter Summary

In the context of postsocialist China, performance of manhood is conspicuously and increasingly regulated by the accumulation of capital, be it economic, social, or cultural capital. This chapter examines how a hybridized discourse of masculinity negotiates between imagined "tradition" and "globality" in today's China. It discusses the relationship between masculinity and cyber nationalism and argues that the gender dimension, which is very important, of the phenomenon of the ultranationalist fenqing has been largely neglected. If one understands the fenqing as a form of male performance in cyberspace to validate one's masculinity, it would be easy to explain the inconsistent behaviors and attitudes toward the West adopted by China's younger generation in the digital world and in the real world. Distinctive feature of patriarchy in contemporary China is elite men's propelling women out of work and back to the home, where they function as evidence of their husband's socioeconomic clout.

Keywords: contemporary China; cyber nationalism; fenqing; masculinity



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