China’s global rise has been analysed from many perspectives in recent years. But pressing questions over how understandings of gender – and particularly masculinity – have been changing amidst increasing mutual contact between China and the wider world have been asked less often. Derek Hird
and Geng Song
are among the foremost contributors to a steadily growing body of work in this area, however, and their new edited volume The Cosmopolitan Dream: Transnational Chinese Masculinities in a Global Age
(Hong Kong University Press, 2018) offers a brilliantly diverse range of perspectives on Chinese men and their global entanglements.
There is something for everyone here as specialists in media, language and literature, gender studies and anthropology join forces to discuss Chinese masculinity as represented and as practiced. From domestic film and televisual portrayals of globe-trotting Chinese men, to the experiences of Chinese migrant fathers working in Ethiopia, Chinese students studying abroad in the United States, or Chinese male gangsters appearing on German or Japanese TV, readers will get a rich sense of how masculinity figures throughout rising China’s global engagements. At once deeply thought-provoking and entertaining, this book is sure to help us all appreciate the importance of this still-overlooked subject.
Ed Pulford is a postdoctoral researcher at the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and northeast Asian indigenous groups.