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Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese History

$29.99 (G)

Part of New Approaches to Asian History

  • Date Published: September 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521683708

$ 29.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Gender and sexuality have been neglected topics in the history of Chinese civilization, despite the fact that philosophers, writers, parents, doctors, and ordinary people of all descriptions have left reams of historical evidence on the subject. Moreover, China's late imperial government was arguably more concerned about gender and sexuality among its subjects than any other pre-modern state. Sexual desire and sexual activity were viewed as innate human needs, essential to bodily health and well-being, and universal marriage and reproduction served the state by supplying tax-paying subjects, duly bombarded with propaganda about family values. How did these and other late imperial legacies shape twentieth-century notions of gender and sexuality in modern China? In this wonderfully written and enthralling book, Susan Mann answers that question by focusing in turn on state policy, ideas about the physical body, and notions of sexuality and difference in China's recent history, from medicine to the theater to the gay bar; from law to art and sports. More broadly, the book shows how changes in attitudes toward sex and gender in China during the twentieth century have cast a new light on the process of becoming modern, while simultaneously challenging the universalizing assumptions of Western modernity.

    • An absorbing account of attitudes to gender and sexuality in modern China written by one of the most highly regarded scholars in the field
    • An historical rendering which addresses a wide range of themes including the family and the state, foot-binding, fashion and gay culture
    • Written with students of Chinese history and gender studies in mind, though also suitable for those with a more general interest in the region
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gender and Sexuality in Modern Chinese History provides readers with a thoroughly lucid and insightful synthesis of this complex field and its challenges. Spanning centuries, Mann moves adeptly between late imperial China and the developments of the twentieth century … [and] provide[s] a remarkable synthesis and guide to this dynamic and developing field that will enrich the study of gender and sexuality in modern China for students and researchers alike.' The Journal of Asian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521683708
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 35 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Gender, Sexuality, and the State:
    1. Family and state: the separation of the sexes
    2. Traffic in women and the problem of single men
    3. Gender relations in politics and law
    Part II. Gender, Sexuality, and the Body:
    4. The body in medicine, art, and sport
    5. Adorning, displaying, concealing, and altering the body
    6. Abandoning the body: female suicide and female infanticide
    Part III. Gender, Sexuality, and the 'Other':
    7. Same-sex relationships and transgendered performance
    8. Sexuality in the creative imagination
    9. Sexuality and the 'other'
    Conclusion: gender, sexuality, and citizenship.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Gender and Social Change in Korea
    • Gender in Contemporary China
    • Gender in East Asian History
    • Gender in Modern China
    • Modern East Asian History
    • Private life in Chinese history
  • Author

    Susan L. Mann, University of California, Davis
    Susan Mann is Professor Emerita of History at the University of California, Davis. She has written many books including The Talented Women of the Zhang Family (2007) and Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century (1997).

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