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Everyday Masculinities in 21st-Century ChinaThe Making of Able-Responsible Men$
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Magdalena Wong

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528424

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528424.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Troubling Boys Becoming Men

Troubling Boys Becoming Men

(p.26) 2 Troubling Boys Becoming Men
Everyday Masculinities in 21st-Century China

Magdalena Wong

Hong Kong University Press

The chapter describes, with two ethnographic cases, how hegemonic masculinity exerts influence during teenage boys’ formative years and their responses. There is a focus on failure or inadequacy, rather than the usual accounts of hard work and academic success in related Chinese literature. The boys' perceived docile and unmanly characters concern their parents, but the boys choose to exercise their agency to develop alternative masculinities, including interpreting androgyny and effeminacy as desirable male models, rather than conforming to the hegemonic ideal. The one-child policy and volatility created by the countrywide rural-to-urban labour migration are identified as affecting the lives of boys in 21st century China and leading, amongst other things, to large numbers of left behind children and only sons.

Keywords:   teenage boys, academic success, alternative masculinities, androgyny, effeminacy, male models, hegemonic ideal, one-child policy, labour migration, left-behind children

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