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Martial Arts Cinema and Hong Kong ModernityAesthetics, Representation, Circulation$
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Man-Fung Yip

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390717

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390717.001.0001

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Myth and Masculinity

Myth and Masculinity

Chapter:
(p.85) 3 Myth and Masculinity
Source:
Martial Arts Cinema and Hong Kong Modernity
Author(s):

Man-Fung Yip

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888390717.003.0004

This chapter examines the rise of the yanggang (“stanch masculinity”) martial arts films from the late 1960s on, focusing in particular on the recurrent motif of male bonding—not only the horizontal bonding between sworn brothers but also the vertical one between masters and disciples. In imagining and valorizing an exclusively male realm seemingly able to transcend both women and other antagonistic forces in society, this fixation on male homosocial relationships constituted in many ways an attempt to cope with the increasing threats to hegemonic masculinity posed by the rise of female social power and by the growth of a ruthless capitalist order in a rapidly modernizing Hong Kong. These threats, however, were never completely contained, and this explains why the prevailing male order needed to keep reinventing itself, through cinema and other means, to maintain and reaffirm its semblance of control.

Keywords:   yanggang (staunch masculinity), male bonding, brotherhood, master-disciple relationship

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