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International Journal of Social Inquiry

Yıl 2009 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 2

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Başlık :

When sissy boys become mainstream: narrating asian feminized masculinities in the global age

Yazar kurumları :
Shih Hsin University1
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Since the 1990s, the appropriation of unconventional dressing codes to perform a new masculinity has gradually been normalized as a mainstream practice in East Asian societies. This paper addresses contradictory currents concerning gender representations operating in East Asia, a fast-growing, rapidly changing region. The personal narratives of nine Taiwanese men, who use unconventional dressing codes to present desirable selves, are analyzed. The men were asked to reflect upon life moments when their dress codes were either pleasurably achieved or bitterly confronted by significant others and higher authorities. The study emphasizes that researchers should place a greater emphasis on how individuals’ lived experiences respond to the postmodern, highly intertextual media environment, rather than on content or textual analysis of media representations of the popular culture scene. Our research participants’ narratives illuminate a site where hegemonic and alternative masculinities contest one another in search of an ever-changing self. Through an examination of the life narratives of these nine men, our study elicits meta-narratives to illustrate how some local and global actors become established in the East Asian post-capitalist identity politics.

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