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Changing Chinese MasculinitiesFrom Imperial Pillars of State to Global Real Men$
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Louie Kam

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208562

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208562.001.0001

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The Chinese Father

The Chinese Father

Masculinity, Conjugal Love, and Parental Involvement

Chapter:
(p.186) 10 The Chinese Father
Source:
Changing Chinese Masculinities
Author(s):

Xuan Li

William Jankowiak

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888208562.003.0011

In this chapter the authors focus on the way in which contemporary Chinese men (re)negotiate the meanings and emergent norms that apply to being a good parent. On the basis of the wen-wu conceptualization of Chinese masculinity and of the recent history of Chinese fatherhood, as well as empirical data from multiple regions of reform-era China, it is argued that China’s newly competitive economy accounts for the emergence of a new image of masculinity that is organized around the hybridity of the traditional wen and wu dimensions, with increased emphasis on the self-confidence, politeness, and cool demeanor of males. In this new sociocultural milieu, spousal expectations also increase in terms of marital life and family care work. The combined force of intrafamilial and societal influences has motivated Chinese fathers desire to be more closely involved in and to form a loving relationship with their singleton children, and to value self-expression and intimacy over aloof and detached parent-child relationships, thereby making fatherhood in contemporary China an integral part of the new Chinese masculinity.

Keywords:   Fatherhood, conjugal family, parent-child intimacy

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