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The Cosmopolitan DreamTransnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age$
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Derek Hird and Geng Song

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455850

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455850.001.0001

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Cosmopolitanism with Chinese Characteristics

Cosmopolitanism with Chinese Characteristics

Transnational Male Images in Chinese TV Dramas

(p.27) 1 Cosmopolitanism with Chinese Characteristics
The Cosmopolitan Dream

Geng Song

Hong Kong University Press

Through close readings of male images in a recent TV drama Love Me, If You Dare, the chapter examines how these transnational male images exhibit hybridity and negotiation between global and local discourses of masculinity and how national identity is constructed through negotiation of the meaning of gender. Images like white-collar professionals and returnees from overseas show a conspicuous desire to represent Chinese men in a cosmopolitan fashion and to link masculinity with modernity. In representations of this “transnational business masculinity,” Western lifestyle is represented as a middle-class status symbol and an indicator of knowledge of the world and modernity. The chapter argues that the cosmopolitan masculinity squares with the state’s agenda of building a modern and cosmopolitan image of the country and, in particular, its educated younger elite. Male images in China’s recent television programs display increasing transnationality and a paradoxical coterminosity between cosmopolitan fantasy and nationalist pride, which indicates the fault lines of the confidence and anxiety when China faces the world.

Keywords:   TV drama, Cosmopolitanism, Transnationalism, Haigui (returnees), Gao fu shuai (tall, rich and handsome)

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