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Special feature

Knowing Male Subjects: Globally Mobile Chinese Professionals and the Aesthetics of the Confucian Sublime

Derek Hird
p. 19-27

Abstract

This article probes the sources, manifestations, and significances of the ambivalences and contradictions in London-based Chinese middle-class male professionals’ sense of their own gendered and cultural identities in the context of China’s twenty-first century postsocialist modernity. In doing so, it shows how Chinese middle-class men’s sense of themselves connects with wider national debates about China’s orientation in the world. To make sense of the desire of some respondents “to become a Chinese gentleman,” the article introduces the notion of the postsocialist Confucian sublime, a vision of a cultural order of increasing appeal to well-educated, middle-class Chinese men. The article argues that the Confucian sublime offers globally mobile professional Chinese men the opportunity to transcend their ambivalence towards Western modernity by providing a sense of wholeness and attainment both at a personal level and in relating to China’s place in contemporary globality.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on September 2021.

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References

Bibliographical reference

Derek Hird, « Knowing Male Subjects: Globally Mobile Chinese Professionals and the Aesthetics of the Confucian Sublime », China Perspectives, 2020-3 | 2020, 19-27.

Electronic reference

Derek Hird, « Knowing Male Subjects: Globally Mobile Chinese Professionals and the Aesthetics of the Confucian Sublime », China Perspectives [Online], 2020-3 | 2020, Online since 01 September 2021, connection on 25 November 2020. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/10323 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/chinaperspectives.10323

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About the author

Derek Hird

Derek Hird is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Lancaster University and Deputy Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute. Department of Languages and Cultures, County Main, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD, UK. His research interests include transnational Chinese middle-class masculinities, Chinese male beauty cultures, and happiness and health in Chinese populations.d.hird@lancaster.ac.uk

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