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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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Idealizing Masculinity through Representation of Fatherhood

Idealizing Masculinity through Representation of Fatherhood

Negotiating Transcultural Masculinities in Dad, Where Are We Going?

(p.161) 9 Idealizing Masculinity through Representation of Fatherhood
The Cosmopolitan Dream

Lin Song

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines the representations of masculinity in a recent Chinese reality TV show Dad, Where Are We Going?, which is based on the original South Korean show of the same title. By closely examining its portrayal of five father-son and father-daughter pairs, the essay observes a twofold construction of masculinity in the show’s transcultural format adaptation. On the one hand, the show’s representation of affectionate and expressive father figures reframes and hybridizes traditional scripts of Chinese masculinity by incorporating pan-East Asian soft masculinity. On the other hand, as I point out, its modes of representation betray an underlying logic that recapitulates the dominance of a bread-winning model of hegemonic masculinity and the gendered division of labor. As a result, whereas the show expands on notions of Chinese masculinity, its portrayal of fatherhood as a whole remains ideologically conservative and serves largely as a televisual compensation for the general absence of active and desirable father figures in contemporary mainland China.

Keywords:   Chinese masculinity, reality TV, fatherhood, Pan-East Asian soft masculinity, format adaptation

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