A debate between hegemonic masculinity and the rise of gender nonconformity: Media representations of the ‘niangpao’ phenomenon in China

Yating YU, Run LI*, Tayden Fung CHAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ‘niangpao’ phenomenon has recently elicited heated discussion in China. However, existing studies related to it mainly focus on the field of showbiz or personal care (cosmetics and beauty) rather than news discourse. To address this niche, a specialised corpus of 174 Chinese English-language news stories (156,774 words) from the years 2012 to 2022 was created to examine this phenomenon by employing corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis. The findings show that the semantic preferences of ‘neologism’, ‘attributes of social actor’, and ‘social action’ with seven different semantic prosodies surrounding the node ‘niangpao’ are prominent, which indicate anti-niangpao and pro-niangpao discourses with ideological implications for nationalism and gender nonconformity. These results provide insights into the linguistic representations of the ‘niangpao’ phenomenon in Chinese English-language newspapers, the contentious ideologies that emerge from these representations, and how changing gender politics shape and are influenced by the State media in a consumption-based economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102811
Number of pages7
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume100
Early online date9 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their very useful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Chinese English-language news media
  • Nationalism
  • Gender nonconformity
  • soft masculinity
  • The ‘niangpao’ phenomenon
  • Soft masculinity

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