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Cultural Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Asia$
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Tiantian Zheng

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824852962

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824852962.001.0001

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Labor, Masculinity, and History

Labor, Masculinity, and History

Bangbang Men in Chongqing, China

(p.124) Chapter Seven Labor, Masculinity, and History
Cultural Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Asia

Xia Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter investigates the connection between gender and history, drawing on the example of contemporary Chinese rural migrant men who are referred to as bangbang (porters or carriers) in Chongqing, P.R. China. In Chongqing, bangbang experience both masculine domination and marginalization through migration, laying claim to competing models of masculinity in their newly developing urban subjectivities and expressing masculine pride when they return to their home villages. The gender dynamics that they experience during migration is intimately related to the changing notion of masculinity over time in China. Zhang suggests that new theoretical insights can be gained by exploring the fluid and complex relations between masculinity and labor from historical perspective. Zhang argues for the importance of historical constructions of gender in understanding the decisions and experiences of rural migrant men in postsocialist China.

Keywords:   Chinese Masculinities, Migration, Labor, History, Political Economy

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