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Chinese Women Go Global: Discursive and Visual Representations of the Foreign ‘Other’ in the Early Chinese Women’s Press and Media

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This article explores the multiple and complex ways in which the gendered foreign ‘Other’ was discursively represented in primarily women’s magazines during the late Qing and early Republic, a period that begins with an unravelling of the confidence in the ‘traditional’ Chinese Woman as the symbol of China’s superior civilisation (and, in a larger context, when Chinese elites were increasingly compelled to interrogate the raison d’être of their own social and cultural values amidst growing Anglo-American global hegemony). The article suggests that the ‘othering’ of the foreign woman in the early twentieth century anticipates contemporary Han Chinese representations of the Western Woman as an ‘ambiguous fetish’ and of ethnic minority women as exotic figures on the lower rungs of a civilisational ladder.

Affiliations: 1: University of Durham


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