The Decline of the Chauvinistic Model of Chinese Masculinity: A Research Report

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Our study is the first study to explore the transformation of Chinese gender stereotypes over a thirty-year period. Based on the field research conducted in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China, and supplemental data in Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing, we examine the way men and women's supposed "essence" has been objectified in folk ideology to form a cognitive or ideal model of gender. We argue that there is a decline in the 1980s chauvinistic model of masculinity that centered around a simplistic dichotomy of wén (scholarly)/wŭ (oriented toward bold action); whereby masculinity is associated with a presumption of superiority and contempt toward women to a newer form of masculinity organized around a blend of wén and cultural traits that highlight confidence, decisiveness, politeness, and a cool demeanor, along with a heightened respect for females.


Anthropology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology

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