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  • How are models of masculinity diversifying in China?
  • How are models of masculinity diversifying in China?
    Cansadiking Fuddin (2017) ©

What does ‘being a man’ mean in modern China?

In China, the desire to be perceived as marriageable and successful has long driven men to adhere to a rigid (and largely unrealistic) model of masculinity – but societal shifts have sparked changes in attitudes. What does the ’modern man’ look like and what does he value in life?

Location China

When four young Chinese actors from the TV series Meteor Garden were branded ‘sissies’ by state media outlet Xinhuain 2018, a storm of controversy erupted. The issue divided the media and readers, with some defending the quartet and championing diverse aesthetic standards, while many others were insistent that the country was experiencing a ‘crisis of masculinity’. [1]

The expression yin sheng, yang shuai (‘women rise, men fall’) has been circulating in public discourse since the ‘80s, when social reforms saw Chinese women put on equal footing in terms of education and careers opportunities following decades of ...



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